Became CM due to my foolishness: Nitish targets Manjhi in House - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Became CM due to my foolishness: Nitish targets Manjhi in House

Nov 10, 2023 01:33 PM IST

Manjhi become the chief minister in May 2014, when Kumar had stepped down owning moral responsibility for the JD(U)’s drubbing in the Lok Sabha elections

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on Thursday lost his cool at his predecessor Jitan Ram Manjhi during a debate on reservation bills in the legislative assembly, saying that his “stupidity” had led Manjhi to hold the CM’s chair, with the remark evoking sharp protest from opposition BJP legislators who accused Kumar of “insulting a Dalit”.

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar in the Bihar assembly on Thursday. (Santosh Kumar/ HT Photo)
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar in the Bihar assembly on Thursday. (Santosh Kumar/ HT Photo)

Kumar’s outburst at Manjhi, the Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) chief, came when the latter was speaking in the House in support of the bills that sought to increase the reservation for SCs, STs, EBCs and OBCs from 50% to 65% in the state.

Hindustan Times - your fastest source for breaking news! Read now.

As Manjhi stressed the need for a proper mechanism to ensure that benefits of reservation reached the needy, an enraged Kumar got up from his seat and did not allow the former to finish his speech, even as several cabinet ministers were seen trying to calm the chief minister.

“This man has no sense. He keeps saying he too has been a chief minister. He became a chief minister because of my stupidity. Does he have any sense,” Kumar screamed in the House.

Manjhi become the chief minister in May 2014, when Kumar had stepped down owning moral responsibility for the JD(U)’s drubbing in the Lok Sabha elections.

As Kumar attacked Manjhi, BJP legislators rose in protest. But Kumar did not relent and looking towards BJP leaders, said: “This man [referring to Manjhi] has always been wanting to remain in your company. When I dumped you a year ago, I had asked him to stay put, but he insisted that he wanted to come with me. Now he has run away. He wants to become a governor. Why don’t you make him the governor?”

Manjhi’s HAM is an ally of the BJP. Amid pandemonium, the House was adjourned for the day.

Talking to reporters outside the assembly, Manjhi reminded that he first became a legislator in 1980 while Kumar became an MLA for the first time in 1985. “He [Nitish Kumar] has forgotten basic decency and lost mental balance. He made me CM after he badly lost in 2014 and everyone in his party started demanding his resignation. Out of shame and fear, he left the chair,” Manjhi said.

Later, Bihar BJP chief Samrat Choudhary and several party leaders went to Manjhi’s house and termed Kumar’s outburst as totally uncalled for and part of a design to “insult a senior Dalit leader”.

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
    author-default-90x90

    Arun Kumar is Senior Assistant Editor with Hindustan Times. He has spent two-and-half decades covering Bihar, including politics, educational and social issues.

SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Saturday, March 02, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On