Lalu Yadav reportedly offers Deputy Chief Minister's post to Jitan Manjhi's son

Lalu Yadav reportedly offers Deputy Chief Minister's post to Jitan Manjhi's son

Sources have revealed that Lalu Prasad Yadav has offered the post of Deputy CM to Jitan Ram Manjhi's son Santosh Manjhi.


Amidst speculation of discord between the JD(U) and RJD in Bihar, sources reported heightened activity at former Chief Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav's residence in Patna on Friday. They also disclosed that Lalu had extended an offer for the post of Deputy Chief Minister to Jitan Ram Manjhi's son, Santosh Manjhi, along with some Lok Sabha seats if he joined the Mahagathbandhan.

However, in an exclusive conversation with Aaj Tak, Santosh Manjhi said that he was not swayed by such offers. "We are with the NDA; such offers keep coming," he said.

The Lalu Yadav camp has begun calculations in order to reach the 122-mark to remain in power in the state.

According to sources, in a scenario where Nitish Kumar withdraws JD(U) from the ruling alliance, the RJD would require eight additional MLAs to reach the 122-mark and maintain its dominance in the state assembly.

Bihar's longest-serving Chief Minister, Nitish Kumar, has expressed dissatisfaction with the Opposition INDIA bloc, citing a lack of a position in the alliance commensurate with his stature. He also advocates for an early assembly poll alongside the Lok Sabha elections, a suggestion met with resistance from the RJD, the largest party in the state's ruling alliance.

Tensions between JD(U) and RJD leaders have escalated, with mutual criticisms and concerns among Kumar's supporters that their ally may be undermining him both in governance and politics.

As the Bihar alliance faces the possibility of a split, here is the current seat distribution in the 243-seat Assembly:

RJD: 79
BJP: 78
JD(U): 45
HAM (S): 4
IND: 1

Nitish Kumar's decision to assume the role of party president, cutting short Lalan Singh's tenure, was perceived as a determined effort to assert control over the organisation. Some JD(U) leaders had suggested that the chief minister's confidant might be growing too close to the RJD or pursuing an independent agenda.

To ease tensions, the RJD agreed to demote Education Minister Chandra Shekhar to the relatively insignificant portfolio of sugarcane industries.

Simultaneously, on Thursday, BJP leaders held intensive meetings amidst the possibility of Nitish Kumar rejoining the party. Bihar BJP president Samrat Choudhary, along with senior leaders like Sushil Modi and Vijay Kumar Sinha, met with the party's top brass, including Amit Shah, in the national capital. Speculation increased that they were open to welcoming Kumar back into the fold.

Choudhary, however, maintained that the meeting focused on the BJP's preparations for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

A BJP ally, nevertheless, indicated that the stage is set for the grand alliance government's downfall in Bihar. The BJP-led NDA is poised to support Kumar once he severs ties with the RJD, the largest constituent of the INDIA bloc in the state.

Edited By: Joydeep Hazarika
Published On: Jan 26, 2024