Bihar Crisis: Is Nitish the Ultimate Winner?

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Patna: Ever Since Jitan Ram Manjhi refused to step down as the Chief Minister of Bihar and make way for Nitish Kumar’s return, the political scenario of Bihar was passing through a hostile condition.

Manjhi, once a close associate of Nitish Kumar ascended to the top post after Kumar resigned accepting moral responsibility for his party’s failure to perform well in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls. The new Chief Minister was termed as ‘Dummy’ Chief Minister by the BJP leaders, a notion which well rejected by Manjhi who said that ‘he is not a rubber stamp’.

Jitan Ram Manjhi’s nine month tenure was marred with controversies with the Chief Minister attacking the ‘Rich’ as Foreigners and had also said that hoarding of grains was ‘okay’ with the small traders. Questioning the character of the wives of army personnel and migrant labour, he said that they are involved in adultery while their husbands are  away for work. He also admitted accepting kickbacks in bridge construction projects.

Following these controversies, which was ruining the party’s image ahead of the Vidhan Sabha polls, he was asked to step down as the Chief Minister which he refused, leading to his expulsion from the party. Manjhi was asked by Governor Kesari Nath Tripathi to take the vote of confidence at the floor of the Bihar Vidhan Sabha on 20 Feb.

Meanwhile the Janata Dal (United) leaders along with 128 MLAs, 99 from JD (U), 24 from RJD, 5 from Congress and one from CPI (M) and one independent candidate went to meet President Pranab Muukherjee along with RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav, Samajwadi Party Chief Mulayam Singh Yadav alleging conspiracy by the BJP.

Manjhi resigned from his post on the morning of 20 Feb before taking the trust vote alleging that the MLAs supporting him were receiving death threats ahead of the trust vote.

Nitish Kumar, was invited by the Governor to form the Government and take oath on 22 February. West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who returned from Bangladesh after attending the Bhasa Diwas ceremony, will be present along with Assam CM Tarun Gogoi and Uttar Pradesh CM Akhilesh Yadav when Nitish is administered the oath of Office and Secrecy by the Governor at Raj Bhavan.

Though Nitish Kumar has the last laugh over the political crisis of Bihar which lasted for nearly a month, the party may suffer a blow in its dalit vote bank in the upcoming Bihar Assembly polls in the later part of this year since Manjhi is known to have a strong hold over this downtrodden community and the voters of this community may not take lightly the insult towards a Dalit leader. Moreover, BJP will be trying to widen the cracks that has emerged within the JD (U).

Now, to know what lies next in store for the fate of the state one has to wait till the Assembly elections are conducted in the later part of this year.

Story Compiled By: Avijit Das

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