Jitan Ram Manjhi’s courtesy visit to RJD Supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav has been politically picked up in Bihar by leaders and legislators alike.
Ailing for a while, Laloo has undergone treatment for multiple health complications at Delhi’s AIIMS out on bail. Motormouth Manjhi has been critical of the centre’s tackling of the Covid situation citing the crunch of resources leading to the loss of valuable individual lives.
Arguing the purpose of Prime Minister Modi’s photos on the vaccination certificates if not for one on the death certificates? There are two reasons why Hindustani Awam Morcha’s Manjhi has chosen to charge their coalition partner- Bhartiya Janta Party standing on the wrong end of the pass reluctantly refusing his presence by not taking him on board in the state cabinet. Manjhi became the caretaker Chief Minister in 2014 soon after Nitish Kumar resigned from chief ministership after JDUs drubbing in the general elections.
Manjhi has been the pointsman determining the face of the backward caste politics in the state keeping him in the reckoning. Nitish Kumar for all his faculties as a politician is well aware of this fact and may like to overstretch this for a while hiccuping his numero uno coalition partner- Bhartiya Janta Party in the state.
Nitish fears the popularity of the Bhartiya Janta Party in Bihar may politically consummate his opressed caste base of Mahadalits and Luv Kush ( kurmi and koeri) impacting his reach and relevance in the politically caste dominated society of Bihar where kinship and clan arranged, organized and mobilized around castes.
For this fact, RCP Singh was announced as a JDU president with Upendra Kushwaha merging his Rashtriya Lok Samta Party with Nitish’s act carefully balancing the caste alliance and arithmetic favouring JDU. Strategically, this coalition of numerically smaller communities with the potential to bail out Nitish Kumar in case of an unwarranted situation of political crisis and conflict. For a Laloo stitching up with Laloo looks bleak at this stage but not impossible as for Manjhi and Mukesh Sahani Mallah pretending to position themselves if they advantageously gain better and bigger in the deal.
Let’s fall back and silently speculate what will happen with Bihar’s politics becoming topsy and turvy after Mohammad Shahabuddin’s death and Pappu Yadav’s arrest, increasingly evolving, involving and engaging.