New Delhi: In a fresh twist to the political logjam in Bihar, RJD MP Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav on Wednesday came out in support of Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi and asked his party chief Lalu Prasad to reconsider the decision to remove him.
Soon after the Patna High Court virtually stayed Nitish Kumar's recognition as the leader of JD(U) Legislature Party in place of Chief Minister Manjhi, Yadav said it has become clear that the meeting called by JD-U chief Sharad Yadav to elect Kumar as LP leader was "illegal and unconstitutional".
"If we want to fight communalism, we cannot do it after weakening the ideology of social justice. There is a need to project a hero of common man in Bihar.
"At present, Manjhi (a Mahadalit) should be allowed to remain Chief Minister. He was doing a lot for the Dalits and minorities. I request Laluji to reconsider his decision supporting Manjhi's replacement with Kumar," Yadav told PTI.
Describing the verdict in Delhi Assembly polls as "the defeat of Narendra Modi more than the victory of Arvind Kejriwal," Yadav said the message from this is that leaders should shun arrogance.
"The Patna High Court order proves that the decision to call a legislature party meeting of JD-U to elect Kumar as its leader was done in a haste and in an unconstitutional manner.
"We should respect Constitution and shun arrogance. Manjhi has been taking good decisions for the underprivileged and minorities," he said.
JD(U) has dismissed Manjhi from primary membership of the party, who has refused to resign daring Kumar to prove his support on the floor of the House.
Meanwhile, Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan alleged that JD(U) MLAs have been "kept in captivity"" in Greater Noida in Uttar Pradesh, which is under Samajwadi Party's rule, and asked Manjhi to ensure that the MLAs are "freed" so that they can vote freely during a trust vote in the state Assembly.
Paswan also drew a parallel of the current situation with that of February 2005, when his Lok Janshakti Party MLAs were taken to Jharkhand to help JD(U) form government in the state.
"JD(U) had then engaged in horse-trading of LJP MLAs. This time they are alleging that somebody else is trying to do that. The fact is that MLAs of JD(U) are divided and hence they have been bundled together to Delhi to prevent a split," Paswan said.
"Parading the MLAs before the President is an excuse. All this exercise is to prevent that the MLAs opposed to Nitish Kumar do not leave him and support Manjhi. What is wrong if Manjhi is ready to prove his majority in the House on February 20? The Governor should ask Manjhi to prove his suppport," he said.