JD-U leaders slam Manjhi for 'upper castes' remark

JD-U leaders slam Manjhi for 'upper castes' remark
Patna, Nov 14: At least six leaders of ruling JD-U, including ministers and legislators, have openly criticized their own Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi for his controversial remarks that upper castes were foreigners and Dalits and Tribals were indigenous people of the country, and demanded his removal Friday.

The national leadership of the party, too, has asked Manjhi not to cross his limit while addressing public meetings or any official function across the state.

JD-U president Sharad Yadav and party general secretary K.C. Tyagi have requested Manjhi not to say anything that creates controversy as it will harm the image of the party ahead of next state assembly polls and will provide ready-made issues for the opposition BJP to target the party and its government, a senior JD-U leader said .

JD-U legislators Sunil Pandey, Gajanand Sahi, Anant Singh, Neeraj Kumar have slammed Manjhi.

Bihar Animal Husbandry Minister Baidyanath Sahni and Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh said that Manjhi should not make such remarks that create controversy.

"Chief minister should not say like this," Sahni said. Sunil Pandey has demanded removal of Manjhi.

"Manjhi is creating controversy instead of running the government; he should be removed," he said.

Not hiding his anger, Pandey demanded calling of legislature party meeting for choosing a new leader to replace Manjhi.

"People had given mandate to Nitish Kumar and not Jitan Ram Manjhi. Hence, he should be removed without any loss of time in view of his irresponsible remarks," he told media here.

Gajanand Sahi said Manjhi should avoid making such remarks as it will harm party.

"Manjhi should not target any one as he is holding a constitutional post," he said.

Earlier, JD-U legislator Anant Singh called Manjhi mad for his remarks and said that he should be sent to a mental asylum. Anant Singh, who belongs to the upper caste Bhumihar community demanded his removal.

Neeraj Kumar, who is also JD-U spokesperson said that the JD-U does not agree with the chief minister's remarks.

"This is his personal opinion. We talk of inclusive politics,"

Another JD-U leader Sanjay Jha, close to Nitish Kumar, said that Manjhi's remarks against upper castes were highly objectionable and uncalled for.

It is not tolerable because he used such words to create division and tension in the society, said Jha, who is a Brahmin, adding that such remarks are harming the party and even the good works done by the state government are not getting credit.

However, the BJP is more aggressive against Manjhi and has demanded an apology from him.


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