The Bihar administration evicted former chief minister and BJP ally Jitan Ram Manjhi from the state’s sprawling guesthouse in the national capital where he was camping for more than a week.
Also, the JD(U)-RJD-Congress grand alliance headed by chief minister Nitish Kumar accused the NDA of violating the model code of conduct for the assembly elections, saying the Centre was running special trains for BJP workers from Bihar.
JD(U) leader KC Tyagi defended his government’s decision to force 70-year-old Manjhi to leave Bihar Niwas in the Chanakyapuri area on Sunday evening. “He was holding political meetings at Bihar Niwas. The government property was used for his electoral purpose.”
The BJP leadership quickly accommodated Manjhi in Rajasthan House on Sunday evening itself.
A self-styled champion of the state’s Mahadalit community, Manjhi has been holding seat-sharing talks with the BJP for his fledgling party, the Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM), in Delhi.
The one-time Kumar loyalist joined forces with the BJP after he fell out with his mentor in one of the bitterest political fights for the state’s top post early this year. His apparent clout in the backward community could muddle the calculations of bitter foe Kumar’s grand alliance.
The grand alliance on Monday presented the chief election commissioner a video clip of Vikas Express, alleging that 60% discount on tickets was provided to BJP workers travelling to Mumbai, Raipur, Bhopal and Jaipur on special trains.
“How can the railway ministry give concession on cost of booking when the trains are used for partisan political purpose?” asked Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala.
Legal expert KTS Tulsi argued that the concession was a bribe and the railways cannot provide such trains during elections.