Jitan Ram Manjhi seeks two berths in new Nitish cabinet

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Patna, Feb 3 (IANS) Hindustani Awam Morcha-Secular chief Jitan Ram Manjhi has demanded two ministerial berths in the Nitish Kumar-led NDA government in Bihar.

“RJD offered me the post of Chief Minister but I refused it. Now, the NDA government is giving us only one berth in the cabinet which is absolutely wrong. I told Union Home Minister Amit Shah and MoS Home Nityanand Rai that our party needed two ministry portfolios,” Manjhi said on Friday.

The former Bihar Chief Minister further expressed displeasure “allotment of ministry portfolio” to independent MLA Sumit Sumit Singh.

“The Bihar government has made an independent MLA a cabinet minister and we also heard that he is getting the department as per his wish, which is absolutely wrong. I am objecting to it,” he said.

Manjhi sought cabinet berth for his party’s state President and MLA Anil Kumar, who belongs to the upper caste community.

“He (Anil Kumar) became MLA for the fourth time and it would be beneficial for our party if he would become the cabinet minister. Our party will become stronger in Magadh region on the social front if he becomes the cabinet minister,” the HAM-S chief said.

At the swearing-in ceremony of the new NDA government, Santosh Manjhi took the oath on January 28.

Reacting to the “delay in the distribution of ministries”, Manjhi said: “I have not seen anything like this in my political career of 44 years that a government was formed but the ministry portfolios were not allotted. The Chief Minister had said on the day of swearing-in ceremony that the cabinet expansion would take place within two to three days but it has not happened till now.”

The HAM-S chief also advocated for the review of liquor prohibition law. He said that his party has a longstanding demand to lift the ban or be implemented on the line of Gujarat.

“A large number of poor people consumed 250 to 300 ml liquor and are serving jail terms due to this law. Hence, we have demanded the liquor law should be implemented on the line of Gujarat,” he said.



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