Another volte face by Nitish in Bihar's interests will have our support: HAM chief
Former Bihar chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi on Saturday said he will continue to "respect and support" the incumbent Nitish Kumar if the latter decided to return to the BJP-led NDA in the interests of the state.
Manjhi, a former protege of Kumar, who heads the Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM), made the averment in reply to questions about the claim of former political strategist Prashant Kishor that the JD(U) leader was keeping his options open.
"Though Kumar has ruled out such a possibility, if he takes such a decision we will continue to support and respect his decision," Manjhi, whose party joined the 'Mahagathbandhan' expressing solidarity with the chief minister earlier this year, told reporters in his home town of Gaya.
"Some people may criticize Kumar for his frequent turnarounds. But I would like to remind them of late Mahamaya Prasad Sinha (former Bihar CM) who had proudly said that he could switch sides a hundred times in public interest. If Kumar, too, did so in the interests of Bihar, there will be nothing wrong in it," said Manjhi.
The HAM chief's statement was promptly dismissed by Vijay Kumar Chaudhary, a senior JD(U) leader and state minister, widely considered as Nitish Kumar's trouble shooter.
"Such statements have no political significance. The Mahagathbandhan, comprising JD(U), RJD, Congress and the Left, is unbreakable (atoot)," Chaudhary told PTI.
State BJP president Sanjay Jaiswal, whose party was stripped of power as a result of Kumar's latest volte face, said the saffron party "will never ever have anything to do with Nitish Kumar".
"We do not take Prashant Kishor seriously. He has a tacit understanding with the Bihar CM whom he keeps meeting secretly," Jaiswal claimed.
He also said that the party was going to take the battle to Nitish Kumar's home turf of Nalanda, where a booth presidents' meeting will be held in December.
"Union Home Minister Amit Shah will also be present at the function to offer his guidance," added the state BJP president.
Meanwhile, Kishor, who claims to have given up professional consultancy and looks set to make a fresh entry into active politics, continued his tirade against Kumar, one of his former benefactors.
"Nitish Kumar ji, if you have nothing to do with BJP/NDA, then ask your MP to quit the post of Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha. You cannot have both ways all the time," tweeted Kishor, who has caused a flutter with the claim that Harivansh has not been asked to resign despite the breakup with NDA so that the JD(U) is left with some room to maneuver.
#NitishKumar ji if you have nothing to do with BJP / NDA then ask your MP to quit the post of Deputy Chairman of Rajya Sabha.— Prashant Kishor (@PrashantKishor) October 22, 2022
You can’t have both ways all the time.