Patna: Janata Dal (United) leader Nitish Kumar is all set to make a comeback as Bihar Chief Minister. If everything goes as planned, Kumar will take the charge before February 15, replacing incumbent Jitan Ram Manjhi.
Sources said that the change in guard is aimed at garnering more public support in run up to the assembly elections in the state, due to be held in November-December this year.
Yesterday, top functionaries of the JD(U) that included party chief Sharad Yadav, general secretary KC Tyagi had met at Kumar’s residence. It is believed that the blueprint of the process through which the change of guard will take place, was discussed. Manjhi, who was also invited for this informal gathering, couldn’t make it to Kumar’s 7 Circular Road.
When Manjhi was asked about the recent developments, he said, “You (media) people are talking about this only… you only know this. I am a Chief Minister and I am working in full capacity.”
Ramai Ram, a senior minister in Manjhi Cabinet, however, doesn’t rule out the possibility of Manjhi’s removal.
“He may be removed before 15 (February). It is evident that he will be replaced… The top leadership will decide on who will replace him,” the minister said.
On the other hand, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Parasd Yadav, who is campaigning in Delhi for February 7 Assembly polls, ran away from taking questions on the issue.
“Today I will not speak on the matter… Don’t speak anything wrong,” Lalu said.
The JD(U) is of view that if Kumar takes over as the Chief Minister, people will once again repose faith in the Janata Dal (United) and will elect it for a third consecutive term.
Manjhi was handpicked by Nitish for the top job after party’s debacle in Lok Sabha polls in the state.