Nitish, Manjhi show camaraderie again
Gaya: Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi and his predecessor Nitish Kumar showed camaraderie as they shared the dias for the second consecutive day on Wednesday, dispelling the reports of differences between them.
Manjhi was present at the JD(U) rally of Kumar here as part of his ongoing 'Sampark Yatra' during the day after attending his meeting at Jehanabad on Tuesday.
Manjhi in fact waited for a good 40 minutes on the dais for Kumar to arrive and the two shook hands publicly.
Speaking before Kumar, the chief minister called him 'supreme leader' and dismissed any difference between them.
"There is no 'khai' (ditch) between us ... We share good understanding to take the work of development of the state forward," he said.
"Every word by Kumar should be taken as 'Sanjeevni' (life saving drug)," he said and repeated his yesterday's statement that he was 'Chote bhai Laxman' (as in Ramayana) and his predecessor was 'Bade bhai' (elder brother).
Manjhi clarified that he did not attend the earlier Samparak Yatra meetings as Kumar had himself chosen him to run the government while he took care of the party.
"I have been in politics since 1980 and have seen how Gaya has been treated. But Nitish Kumar showed concern and ushered in development here along with the rest of the state," Manjhi, who hails from Gaya district, said.
The display of camaraderie is seen as a major event amidst reports suggesting 'growing differences' between them in the wake of Manjhi's remarks which signalled his attempts to carve out a chance to be chief minister after the 2015 assembly poll.
The reports began doing the rounds after Kumar avoided sharing dais with Manjhi by giving many scheduled programmes a miss in the past two months. BJP had grabbed the opportunity to play it against JD(U).
The event, however, saw some ugly moments when a section of party leaders vehemently protested Kumar meeting one Maulana Omar Noorani yesterday evening and asked him to address the gathering. Some JD(U) leaders like Amzad Hussain were seen walking away from the stage in the presence of Kumar when Noorani was invited to speak.
Hussain was pacified by minister Shyam Rajak and others and Noorani himself withdrew from addressing the meeting.