Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi whose utterances on various issues have at times put the ruling JD (U) in embarrassing situation, on Saturday said he was too old to learn.
"Boodha suga pos nahi manta hai (Old parrots never learn). When I became Chief Minister, I felt that God has given a hint to serve the poor. So I have decided not to spare anything in working for the people. I will keep working honestly and will do whatever I think," Manjhi said.
"I have been given a chance. I know my ambit. I don't know what will happen tomorrow. But today I have an opportunity and I will work for everybody according to my capacity. I am a hopeful, positive person. I don't indulge in politics. I am just a servant," he added.
The Bihar Chief Minister was speaking at a public meeting at Singhma in Matihani block of Begusarai district after laying down the foundation stone of a Primary Health Centre in the name of late socialist leader Yogendra Prasad Singh.
Manjhi pointed out that he has been politically active for the last 40 years and has won assembly elections six times during this period.
"I have no political guru. I have no support of caste, community, money, or muscle power. Still I have been an MLA due to the love and support of the public. I will keep doing whatever comes to my heart," he added.
Manjhi has been in the limelight over the last couple of months for whipping controversies by passing comments like "forward castes are foreigners", "I am a CM with numbered days" and "not allowing Union Ministers in the state if they don't assist Bihar" among others.
The JD (U) had taken exception over his comments last month. It had asked him to rein-in himself because other leaders were feeling uncomfortable and the party workers were getting demoralised.
Speaking at the public meeting Manjhi raised the demand for special category status for Bihar and pointed out that it was fully justifiable as the Raghuram Rajan Committee formed by the Centre had accepted it as the most backward state in the country after Odisha.
"The seven Union ministers from the state should help Bihar get special status so that its development could be given a new direction. The Centre is not giving us our right and also the proper share of taxes," Manjhi reiterated.
The chief minister said there are poor people among the upper castes also and he is putting pressure on the Forward Castes Commission to submit its report so that the state government could do something for such poor also.
Urban Development Department (UDD) Minister Samrat Chaudhary, MP Bhola Singh, several MLAs and leaders from various parties were present on the occasion.