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Jitan Ram Manjhi was “spying” on Mahagathbandhan allies: Nitish Kumar

PATNA: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Friday charged Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) party founder, Jitan Ram Manjhi, of ”spying on Mahagathbandhan allies” for the benefit of the BJP and claimed his exit was good riddance.

Kumar admitted that Manjhi, a former chief minister himself, wanted to be a part of the June 23 Opposition parties meet but he was apprehensive that the latter might leak details of the conclave to the BJP.

”He (Manjhi) was in constant touch with BJP leaders. He recently met several BJP leaders… He wanted to be part of the June 23 meeting of opposition leaders… but I had apprehensions that he might leak issues/matters that will be discussed on June 23. ”I, therefore, asked him to merge HAM (S) with the JD(U). He said he could not do so, on this, I asked him to leave the Grand alliance… it is good that he has gone away”, Kumar told reporters after the swearing-in of JD(U) MLA from Sonbarsa assembly seat, Ratnesh Sada, in the state cabinet.

Sada, a three-time MLA from Sonbarsa seat belongs to ‘Musahar’ (rat catcher) caste, was administered the oath of office and secrecy by Bihar Governor Rajendra Vishwanath Arlekar at the Raj Bhavan here.

Santosh Kumar Suman, who is the son of Manjhi, recently resigned from the state cabinet, saying, ”I quit the minister’s post to protect the party after Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) gave a proposal to merge the HAM(S) with the JD(U)”.

Kumar said, ”Our party has given a lot to Manjhi. His party was given a ministerial berth in the state cabinet from JD(U)’s quota. Despite all these… he was in touch with BJP leaders.” The CM further asserted that the possibility of early Lok Sabha polls could not be ruled out.

”There is a strong possibility that general elections may not necessarily take place next year. These could be held earlier. Therefore, all opposition parties must come together to defeat the BJP in the coming Lok Sabha polls. We must start preparations after June 23 meeting”, said the CM.

Source: Press Trust of India

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