Patna: Claiming that Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi would be removed from office in the event of merger of the JD(U) and RJD, Senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi on Tuesday asked him to resign on his own and recommend fresh elections in the state to pre-empt the move.
"I suspect that Manjhi will be removed from the Chief Minister's post post-merger of the JD(U) and RJD after Makar Sankranti... I would advise him to resign on his own and recommend fresh elections," he told reporters here.
He said that Bihar would be pushed into extended period of political instability after the proposed merger of the two erstwhile rivals.
On the Chief Minister reportedly warming upto the BJP by offering to work in tandem with Prime Minister Narendra Modi for development of Bihar, the former deputy chief minister of Bihar said such a proposal had not been officially communicated, but if an offer was indeed made, the BJP Parliamentary board might consider it.
On the 185+ target set by the BJP central leadership in the Assembly polls scheduled for late this year, he said that the target was a realistic one given a strong undercurrent prevailing against the JD(U) and RJD.
Modi claimed that a virtual cold war has broken out between the Chief Minister and his predecessor Nitish Kumar and added that Manjhi had recently called a 'secret' meeting of the SC/ST officers to send out a terse message to Kumar that he had emerged out of Kumar's shadows.
"By convening a meeting of the SC/ST officers, Manjhi had reminded his predecessor that the dalit community as well as officers from this section were behind him and also he will not quit as he has grown beyond his predecessor's shadows," Modi said.
He, however, took a serious note of Manjhi's assertion that his predecessors too had held 'secret' meetings with the officers of a particular caste on three occasions in the past and said that he was unaware of such developments.
With Manjhi going public with his predecessor holding 'secret' meetings with the officials of a particular caste, the onus was on Kumar to explain why and when he did so, Modi said.