Manjhi favours RJD, Congress joining his govt

Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi on Sunday spoke in favour of the idea of RJD and Congress joining the JD(U) government and said leaders of three parties will take a call in this regard.

PTI| Updated: Sep 07, 2014, 20:46 PM IST

Patna: Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi on Sunday spoke in favour of the idea of RJD and Congress joining the JD(U) government and said leaders of three parties will take a call in this regard.

"What is wrong if the RJD and Congress join my government?" he asked in reply to a question by reporters.

In fact, it will be good if the two parties (RJD and Congress) joined the government, Manjhi said on the sidelines of a function here.

Majhi's comments gained currency in view of the buzz that RJD and Congress would be joining his government to further cement the 'grand alliance' in Bihar and take on a resurgent BJP in the assembly polls.

Top leaders of these parties - (JD(U), RJD and Congress) - will sit together and decide on the issue, he said.

A senior JD(U) leader Shravan Kumar, and Parliamentary Affairs minister in the Manjhi government, had hinted yesterday that the RJD and Congress may join the JD(U) government soon to formalise their alliance with the ruling JD(U). The two parties had already been extending support from outside to JD(U) ever since the ruling party moved away from the NDA last year.

"There is great bonhomie among leaders of the JD(U), RJD and Congress. We go to their (RJD and Congress leaders') house and they come over to our places to attend functions," Kumar, a trusted aide of former chief minister Nitish Kumar, had said.

"We are taking support of both these parties (RJD and Congress) in the House. If they are supporting us everywhere then what is harm if they take part in the government too," he said.

A senior RJD MLA Bhai Virendra too supported the idea of his party joining the government and said that by doing so his partymen will be able to serve the people in a better way.

The Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee (BPCC) President Ashok Kumar Chaudhary chose to tread cautiously on the matter, saying, if a proposal came from the ruling party, "then we will discuss it with our high command."

"We will discuss it with the high command if such an offer comes officially to us. It will be a decision based on our party policy and only the high command will decide whether we have to join the government or not," said Chaudhary.

The RJD and Congress had been supporting the minority JD(U) government from outside ever since it severed 17 year-old ties with the BJP-led NDA last year over indications of the then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi being a frontrunner to be named as the BJP's prime ministerial candidate.

The RJD and Congress later supported the trust vote taken by the Nitish Kumar government last year and thereafter the Jitan Ram Manjhi government this year.

These two parties also supported the JD(U) in by-polls on three Rajya Sabha seats which was won by the ruling party candidates in a keenly-contested elections and followed it up with a 'grand alliance' for the by-polls in ten assembly seats of which the JD(U) and its allies won six seats as against four by the BJP.