The internal feud in the JD(U) assumed farcical proportions when the party expelled its own chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi from its primary membership in what could be the first such instance, even as Nitish Kumar raced to claim the chief ministership that he'd renounced after his Lok Sabha poll debacle.
Both Kumar and Manjhi met governor Keshari Nath Tripathi separately on Monday , claiming a majority.
While the chief minister was expelled for “anti-party activities“, his loyalist MLA Rajeshwar Raj filed a PIL in the Patna high court challenging Kumar's election as JD(U) legislature party chief. Manjhi too said Kumar's election as JD(U) legislature party chief was unconstitutional as only the CM, and not the party president (Sharad Yadav), could call for such a meeting. Nitish Kumar and Jitan Ram Manjhi met governor Keshari Nath Tripathi separately on Monday , claiming their own majorities. Nitish Kumar urged Bihar governor Kesari Nath Tripathi to invite him for government formation in two days, while CM Jitan Ram Manjhi is learnt to have told the governor that he was ready to prove his majority through secret ballot on February 19, a day before the governor is scheduled to address the joint legislature session on February 20.
Manjhi made the February 19 offer after reports that the governor wondered which government he would address the joint session for.
Tripathi left for Delhi late Monday evening to attend a meeting of governors.
Kumar was accompanied to Raj Bhawan by RJD chief Lalu Prasad, JD(U) president Sharad Yadav and Congress legislature party leader Sadanand Singh to stress support of 130 MLAs.He later told reporters that he would parade the MLAs before the President if the governor delayed his call.
Kumar also requested Tripathi not to entertain Manjhi's plea for Cabinet expansion or assembly dissolution and convene a session of the assembly to prevent horse trading, while informing him about assembly Speaker Uday Narayan Chaudhary's notification about his election as the JD (U) legislature party chief.