Manjhi to stage dharna against Nitish at Jantar Mantar in Delhi
Former Bihar chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi on Saturday announced that he will stage a ''dharna'' at Jantar Mantar in Delhi next week to protest his recent humiliation at the hands of incumbent Nitish Kumar.
Manjhi, who heads Hindustani Awam Morcha and nurses a grouse over the dressing down received from Kumar inside the assembly recently, said the dharna will also be marked by a ''havan'', a ritual in which offerings are made into a consecrated fire.
''Our dharna will take place at Jantar Mantar on December 5 when we will also perform a havan with chants of Nitish Kumar swaha'', said Manjhi, who is with the BJP-led NDA.
The ex-CM was lambasted by Kumar on the floor of the House last month when he tried to highlight anomalies in the state's caste survey.
The BJP, which was stripped of power in Bihar following the exit of Kumar, the JD(U)'s supreme leader, from the NDA last year, has thrown its weight behind Manjhi.
The ''Dalit'' leader's insult was mentioned on more than one occasion by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at election rallies in different states.
BJP leaders in Bihar also joined Manjhi at a demonstration he had staged, shortly after the showdown, close to a statue of B R Ambedkar installed inside the Patna High Court premises.
Manjhi, who became the chief minister in 2014, when Nitish Kumar had stepped down taking moral responsibility for the JD(U)'s defeat in Lok Sabha polls, also disclosed that he will hold another public meeting here later this month.
''All members of the Scheduled Castes in some ways bear the brunt of Nitish Kumar's rule. To galvanise them, we will be holding a function at the Millar High School ground on December 24'', said the HAM chief, who had floated the party after his less-than-a-year-long stint as the chief minister came to an end.
Manjhi, whose rule was marred by several controversies, had to step down under mounting pressure from JD(U), which led to his exit from the party and the return of Kumar as CM.
The HAM chief, who had mended fences with Kumar ahead of the 2020 assembly polls, which helped his son Santosh Suman get a cabinet berth, also found fault with the state's prohibition policy and vowed to ''scrap it or reform it along the lines of dry Gujarat'', if he had a fresh shot at power in Bihar.
''The poor, mostly Dalits, are suffering the most on account of the prohibition law. Nitish Kumar had allowed the liquor business to flourish in his first term but now pretends to be a paragon of virtue'', alleged Manjhi, who broke up with his former mentor again this year when he was asked to merge HAM with JD(U).
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)