Challenge to Nitish: Manjhi loyalists turn heat on govt

Jitan Ram Manjhi loyalists Nitish Mishra and Narendra Singh today challenged the Nitish Kumar government's decision to annul all the 34 decisions taken by the Manjhi dispensation.

By Anand Raj in Patna
  • Published 11.03.15
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Patna, March 10: Jitan Ram Manjhi loyalists Nitish Mishra and Narendra Singh today challenged the Nitish Kumar government's decision to annul all the 34 decisions taken by the Manjhi dispensation.

"The 34 decisions taken by the Manjhi government in public interest were annulled by the Nitish Kumar government simply because the decisions were taken under 'miscellaneous category'. It is not the first time that decisions have been taken under miscellaneous category. There has been the practice of taking decisions under that particular head in the cabinet since 2010," Mishra, the suspended JDU MLA, said.

Questioning the Nitish government's decision to overturn Manjhi's public interest decisions, he referred to several decisions - such as authorising the chief minister to fill up vacancies of posts of Bihar Public Service Commission members and to nominate members for the Upper House to be fielded under the governor's quota - which were taken under miscellaneous head.

"If these (aforementioned) important decisions could be taken under the miscellaneous head, then how could all the 34 decisions be termed as taken without following rules and jurisdiction? These decisions were taken as per the norms and rules, especially when it is not clear as to which decision falls under the miscellaneous head and which do not," said Mishra, the former rural development minister.

Narendra Singh, member of the Upper House of the state legislature, questioned Nitish's decision to annul 34 decisions even before winning the trust vote. "What is Nitish Kumar's moral authority has to annul decisions taken by Manjhi without proving his majority in the Assembly? He should have, at least, waited till March 11, the day fixed for the trust vote in the Assembly," said Singh, the former agriculture minister.

"All the decisions taken by the erstwhile Manjhi cabinet were "genuine" and in public interest, be it giving free electricity to farmers with land up to 5 acres, 35 per cent quota for women, 13 months' salary to policemen instead of 12 months," the former minister said.

Manjhi, his former cabinet colleagues and hundreds of sympathisers of his new outfit - Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) - observed a daylong fast near the Gandhi statue at the historic Gandhi Maidan to protest against the Nitish Kumar cabinet's decision to annul all the 34 decisions taken by the Manjhi government.

Nitish, who chaired the cabinet meeting on March 4, had annulled all the 34 decisions taken by the former Manjhi government during its last three cabinet meetings on February 10, 18 and 19.

Justifying his decision to scrap the 34 decisions, Nitish had termed those as "non-decisions", as they were not taken in accordance with rules and established procedure to get the cabinet's nod.

"The decisions have not been annulled on the basis of their merit rather on the basis of procedure. The departments concerned are free to re-examine them and send the proposal if they find those decisions carrying merit," said Nitish.