Patna:Â Ending the long suspense, Jitan Ram Manjhi, the SC/ST minister in the Bihar government, has been chosen as the new chief minister. Manjhi is a member of the mahadalit community.Â Nitish Kumar stepped down officially on Monday as the chief minister ofÂ BiharÂ after a successful eight and a half year stint.Â
JD(U), which met in Patna at 2pm agreed to accept Nitish’s resignation and empower him to name his successor but with the express rider that he would continue to act as the facilitator between the government and the party and the party would contest the next polls under his leadership.
The party also insisted via a three point resolution, that after winning the mandate to rule after 2015 elections, Nitish himself would be the chief minister.
“Kumar has by sticking to a moral decision showed them up for what they are, while establishing a unique precedent,” he said.
Niitsh would involve himself nationally and work with leaders of other states and secular parties, even as he strengthens grassroots support for JD(U) in preparation for the 2015 assembly elections, in which he said the party would look for an absolute majority.
“It is for your own good and the good of the party, that I should step down,” he told the legislators adding, “There are times when hard decisions have to be taken for the ultimate good when the issue is of re-establishing higher moral principles.
However, Monday’s events showed, that all was not smooth as fault lines within the party have re-appeared with Sharad and Nitish camps coming virtually to blows. They exchanged hot words with Sharad acolyte Ravindra Rai openly calling for a secret ballot to elect the new leader.
Sharad, had earlier in the day told the media that “Nitish will not take back his decision to step down and a new leader will be elected at the legislature party meeting”.