A day after Manjhi made the statement in Dhanbad that he would like to see Nitish Kumar as the chief minister and the prime minister as he is the most popular leader, both the RJD and the Congress expressed their strong reservations over it.
"It is Manjhi's personal view and has nothing to do with an official stand of the JD-U, RJD and Congress alliance on the issue of the chief ministerial candidate," RJD legislator Abdul Bari Siddiqui said here.
Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) president Ram Chandra Purve said Manjhi's statement is not good for the alliance. "Such remarks will weaken the JD-U, RJD and Congress alliance. Our target should be to defeat the communal forces in the state," he said.
Congress spokesperson Prem Chand Mishra said Manjhi should not have said that because the alliance is still in its formative stage and such a statement will create trouble.
"It is too early to say who will be the chief minister if the alliance got a mandate in Bihar assembly polls in 2015. Leaders of the three parties will discuss it. It will be decided only after that," Mishra said.
However, JD-U spokespersons Sanjay Singh and Neeraj Kumar not only supported Manjhi's remark, but also said Nitish Kumar will be the chief ministerial candidate.
"Nitish Kumar enjoys an image of a good leader and is known for good governance," Sanjay Singh said.
State Health Minister Ramdhani Singh also supported Manjhi's remark.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders said the issue exposed a clear crack in the alliance and it would not last long. They termed the alliance an "unholy alliance" and said people would not accept it.
The Janata Dal (United) (JD-U), RJD and Congress alliance was formally announced July 30 to contest the by-elections in 10 assembly constituencies.
JD-U and RJD leaders said the alliance was vital for strengthening secular forces and defeating communal parties in the state.
The JD-U and RJD, which parted ways in 1994, came together after the BJP swept the Lok Sabha polls in Bihar.