Patna: A day after ruling JD(U) cut a sorry figure with five ministers skipping a function in which Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi was present, two of them shared the dias with him on Friday.
HRD minister Brishen Patel and Food Minister Shyam Rajak, who were among the five who left Manjhi in a lurch at a seminar organised by Shikshak Sangrha Morcha, were with him at the inauguration of Patna Book Fair during the day.
The three were encircled in a big marigold garland and obliged photographers with smilling faces to show that everything was fine within the JD(U).
When asked, Patel told reporters that there was 'nothing serious' in his absence yesterday and the controversy was the 'handiwork' of opposition BJP.
"The controversy is the handiwork of BJP as it is not been able to digest a mahadalit Manjhi as CM," Patel, a close confidante of Nitish Kumar, he said while leaving the function.
"Manjhi will rule Bihar sitting on the chest of BJP," he said.
Rajak too played down the event.
In reply to a question whether the chief minister had asked him about his absence yesterday, he told PTI "These are non serious issues which does not deserve any discussion."
Absence of the ministers yesterday had thrown up the uneasiness in JD(U) amid reports of power tussle between Manjhi and his predecessor Nitish Kumar.
The other three who had given the programme a miss yesterday were Rural Development Minister Shrawan Kumar, Urban Development Minister Samrat Chaudhary and Animal Husbandry Department Minister Baidyanath Sahni.
Their absence had led Manjhi, who is embattled by the row over the appointment of his son-in-law as his personal assistant, to comment that he knew his days as chief minister were numbered.