After resignation of CM Nitish Kumar, Jitan Ram Manjhi would take on the office as 23rd Chief Minister of Bihar. Projecting him, Nitish has played Mahadalit card in a sophisticated and well-manoeuvred way.
Simultaneously, this step would help him (Nitish) to stand firmly on the cause of social justice and consolidate his vote bank in this destitute class In fact, after the drubbing in the general election, Nitish badly needed to gain the lost ground.
Countering the BJPs, Jitan Ram insisted that he is not a ‘rubber stamp’, whereas charged back the former as anti-dalit mindset. Mr. Manjhi’s emergence for the top post indicates towards to the 15.5 per cent dalit population of the State.
Whilst Nitish might have thought about it to avoid Narendra Modi. If he continued as chief minister he would have to face Modi sooner or later which would embarrass him.
"Nitish Kumar has foisted a dummy chief minister and picked a good escape route."
- Sushil Kumar Modi, BJP leader"By saying I will be a rubber stamp the BJP has only highlighted their anti-Dalit mindset. The BJP has insulted dalits."
- Jitan Ram Manjhi, Bihar’s new Chief Minister designate
The JD(U) MLA Jitan Ram Manjhi(68) comes from Makhdumpur (SC) assembly constituency of Jehanabad district. Despite lacking administrative skills, he was among the close aides of Nitish Kumar. Significantly, choosing him the successor, Nitish has no tension of any dispute.

# Ujjwal Ghosh [The author is Sr. Journalist, currently working on his short story book. The views expressed are personal].

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