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Bihar: Will Mahagathbandhan Govt Take Action Against Manjhi and Son Suman for Joining With BJP?

Suman has formally announced joining the BJP-led NDA; This was announced by Ratnesh Sada, who replaced Suman as a SC/ST Welfare minister.
HAM president Jitan Ram Manjhi

Image Courtesy: PTI

Patna: Nearly three weeks after Santosh Kumar Suman, the national president of Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) (HAM), who resigned last month from the Mahagathbandhan government's cabinet led by CM Nitish Kumar and his party has formally announced joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA). The state government has been reviewing works during his tenure. This was announced by Ratnesh Sada, who replaced Suman as a SC/ST Welfare minister.

Sada said top officials of his department are reviewing the works for SC/ST welfare taken during Suman and his father, Jitan Ram Manjhi's tenure as Chief Minister.

This is the first time in recent years that the government has been reviewing works during the tenure of a previous minister.

"Officials have been directed to examine files to review works during the tenure of Manjhi and Suman (Baap-Baap). The result of the ongoing review will be available soon. Action will be taken based on the review of works and pending works," Sada told the media here.

This is bad news for HAM leader and former Bihar minister Suman, as the state government appears to take a revenge route to teach him a hard lesson.

Suman is the elder son of former Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, founder of the HAM. Manjhi, in his late 70s, belongs to the dalit musahar community, one of the most marginalised and backward sections. He is keen on establishing Suman as an undisputed leader of his community to play a long political inning.

Sada also belongs to the dalit musahar community. If Manjhi's home district is drought-prone Gaya in the Magadh region, Sada's is flood-prone Saharsa in the Koshi region.

"Our community should know how much work senior Manjhi and junior Manjhi have done for their development and welfare despite being in power for years. Manjhi was MLA and minister in one after another government since 1980 till he became CM in 2014 thanks to Nitish Kumar, and his elder son Suman has been a minister since 2020. Both repeatedly claimed themselves as community champions; now, official data will be brought into the public domain to expose their real works for the community," said Sada.

Sada targeted Manjhi and Suman for playing opportunistic politics by changing sides regularly. 

"Last month, Manjhi and Suman quit Mahagathbandhan to join the BJP-led NDA for selfish interest. Both have cheated the community because CM Kumar was the first leader who initiated works to empower the community that was neglected and ignored for centuries," he added.

Sada said that Suman's security cover was upgraded, and he was provided Y plus security for joining NDA ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha elections and questioning the bid for opposition unity at the national level to take on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Officially, Suman was provided Y plus security based on a report from the intelligence bureau. It is a different matter that till recently, he was not facing any threat to his life.

It was reported that the BJP had offered Manjhi to appoint him as governor of a Northeast state and would give a ticket to Suman to contest from the Gaya Lok Sabha seat in next year's elections. Gaya is the home district of Manjhi.

The saffron party appears to have forgotten and ignored Manjhi's widely reported stance against Hindutva politics in recent years to join hands with him as a new ally in Bihar.

Manjhi targeted the BJP's Hindutva politics based on Ram and Ramayana until last month. He claimed that Ram was an imaginary figure, not a historical one, and questioned the very existence of the Mythical divine figure.

However, Sada has given a new twist to politics by hinting that action will be taken after reviewing works that may create trouble for Manjhi and Suman.

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