Chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi on Monday rubbished reports of his growing distance with Nitish Kumar, saying he would be the first person to propose his name for the next chief minister.
With the cloud of uncertainty over his continuation gone, Manjhi said, “The issue was a media creation. He is our leader and I have no qualms in admitting that there is no one more suitable than Kumar to head the state.”
Manjhi said, “Post merger, the unified legislature party will elect its new leader. Even then, I will be proposing Kumar’s name. If it suits everybody, it will be accepted,” he said. On Nitish’s refusal to give a specific assurance about Manjhi’s continuation, the chief minister said, “How could he have spoken about a future situation, that too, on a matter involving the consent of two parties?”
The CM justified his ‘secret’ meeting with roughly 200 state officials belonging to Scheduled Caste (SC) and Scheduled Tribe (ST) categories, saying holding such meetings had a precedence and there was nothing wrong in trying to know the specific grievances of a particular set of officers.