Hajipur/Patna: Amid reports of unease in his relationship with senior JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar, Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi on Friday described Kumar as 'Chanakya' of state politics and dismissed reports of differences between them.
"Nitish Kumar is Chanakya of Bihar politics," Manjhi said while addressing a foundation day function of a women's college, about 6 km from Hajipur.
"Nitish Kumar bahut chalak waykti hain...Har koi unko theek se samaj nahi pa raha hain...Mein thora phuhar jaroor hu par sab kuch samajta hun (Nitish Kumar is a very intelligent man and people fail to understand him whereas I am a little absurd but I understand everything)," Manjhi said amid heightened speculation of his removal from the post of Chief Minister.
Manjhi described his relationship with Kumar as cordial.
"I am treading on the path laid down by Kumar and taking forward the roadmap of governance formulated by him," Manjhi said.
Kumar, who handpicked Manjhi to succeed him after he quit in the wake of JD(U) debacle in general elections is apparently upset with him particularly after Manjhi transferred many IAS officials close to him and publicly spoke in favour of rebel MLAs whose membership of state Assembly have been restored by Patna High Court.
Amid fast paced political development in the state, Manjhi said last evening that he knows he would 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 & ST," Manjhi said at a function of Tharu tribes in West Champaran district yesterday.