Patna: With JD(U) chief Sharad Yadav holding a closed door meeting with Bihar chief minister and state party chief to stem the deepening crisis in the party, Jitan Ram Manjhi today denied speculations about ‘differences' with senior party leader Nitish Kumar.
“Doubts are being spread about differences between me and Nitish Kumar which is not true ... Some people in a bid to serve their own vested interests are spreading such rumours,” Manjhi said at a party function to mark the birth anniversary of socialist leader Karpoori Thakur.
Nitish Kumar and Sharad Yadav were on the dais with him. Praising Kumar, Manjhi said he showed the “highest level of political ethics” by resigning from the chief minister's post owing moral responsibility for JD (U)'s debacle in the general election.
“He could have easily nominated somebody from his caste or people who are always around him to succeed him. But, he reposed faith in a mahadalit like me ... I will not betray his trust.
“Those trying to serve their own vested interest by creating rift between us would not be allowed to succeed. We are one and will remain one,” he said. Earlier, during the day Yadav concerned over the deepening crisis in JD (U) in the wake of war of words between supporters of Nitish Kumar and Manjhi held a closed door meeting to douse the fire.
Manjhi and state party chief Basistha Narayan Singh were with Yadav in the closed door meeting at the state guest house for more than half an hour.
When asked, Manjhi told reporters after the meeting that there was no problem in the party.
“Ask Sharad Yadav,” he said, when pressed further. Asked about BJP firing salvos at Kumar and JD (U), Manjhi said “Go and ask Nitish Kumar on this.”
Singh, who had come to the state guest house from the residence of senior leader Nitish Kumar admitted, the situation was becoming ‘serious' due to repeated statements of leaders.
“The party is suffering a serious loss due to statements coming from party leaders,” the JD (U) state chief told reporters.
Crisis in JD (U) appears to be deepening since the ‘dinner diplomacy' attended by over 20 state ministers owing allegiance to Kumar at the residence of Food Minister Shyam Rajak on Wednesday.
Manjhi adopted a defiant pose and claimed at a function at Banka the very next day that he had performed better than previous regimes including that of Nitish Kumar. He has been making assertions subsequently also which reflected his defiant approach.