Patna, Feb 21: Asserting that he did not "back-stab" Nitish Kumar, expelled JD(U) leader Jitan Ram Manjhi today said he was prematurely pulled down from the chief minister's post by Kumar when he started bringing "mere slogans" of uplift of the poor to reality.
Talking to media a day after he resigned as Chief minister, Manjhi alleged Kumar was only interested in "giving slogan for the poor and downtrodden". Manjhi said a photograph of Nitish Kumar still hangs in his room which reminds him of Kumar championing the cause of the deprived and poor.
"I'll thank Nitish Kumar if he completes the agenda I have set for genuine welfare of poor and downtrodden, otherwise I'll go to people and unmask him," Manjhi, who looked relaxed at his One Anne Marg residence, said.
"It's like yesterday we were without cloth but today we are in full clothes and tomorrow will be a different story," he said to say things move according to situation. Asked about allegations that he back-stabbed Nitish Kumar who handpicked him for CM's post, Manjhi said, "Garib khud maar khata hai woh dusro ko kaya peeth me chura marenge (the poor always take a beating, how can they back stab others".
Asked if he was planning to join BJP, Manjhi denied and signalled forming a separate party which would work for the poor.
"I am a man with independent thinking. I'll walk on the path laid down by myself but take assistance of parties who join me on this path be it BJP or even Nitish Kumar," Manjhi said adding he had called a conclave of his supporters here on February 28 to take a decision in accordance with their wishes.
He also praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi and thanked BJP for extending support to him. "Recently Prime Minister Narendra Modi made a big assertion regarding religious tolerance...by this he seems changing 'charitra' (character) of BJP," said Manjhi, who had a one-on- one meeting with PM on February 9 during the power struggle with mentor Nitish Kumar.