Amid heightened speculation about his removal from the post of chief minister, Jitan Ram Manjhi said he knows that he will not return to the chair again but made a strong case that a dalit should be next CM of the state.
"I know that I'll not be chosen as chief minister again... I do not have any sadness over this... but the next CM shall be a dalit for continuation of welfare of SC and ST," Manjhi said at function of Tharu tribes in West Champaran district on Thursday.
The speculation on change of guard is rife in the wake of former chief minister Nitish Kumar going to Delhi on Thursday and meeting RJD President Lalu Prasad and Janata Dal (United) (JD(U)) president Sharad Yadav. Kumar, however, dismissed the speculation saying that the Bihar issue did not require to go to Delhi.
Speaking about Manjhi continuing as chief minister,Kumar said, "I am nobody to decide this."
Kumar, who handpicked Manjhi to succeed him after he quit in the wake of the JD(U) debacle in the general elections, is reportedly upset with Manjhi.
The chief minister had transferred many IAS officials close to Kumar and publicly spoke in favour of rebel MLAs whose membership in the state Assembly have been restored by the Patna High Court.
Meanwhile, the JD(U), on Friday, extended invitation to mediapersons for a feast on 'Makar Sankranti' on January 14 in which the party and RJD leaders would take "Chura Dahi" (beaten rice and curd) together.
The feast, which is expected to be attended by Sharad Yadav, Lalu Prasad and Nitish Kumar among others, is seen as an important event in the process of merger of splinter parties of the erstwhile Janata Parivar.
It's seen in the political circle here that Nitish Kumar might lead the united Janata Party in the elections later this year. But RJD vice president and former union minister Raghubansh Prasad Singh said that a merger is not easy.
"Sirf Lalu aur Nitish ke saath aane se baat nahi baneygi.Har sttar par sahmati banani hogi en partyiyo mein (Lalu and Nitish coming together would not complete the merger. A consensus has to be made at all levels in the parties)," Singh said.