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Modi govt 3.0: Once Nitish’s choice to fill in as Bihar CM, Jitan Ram Manjhi set to become Union Minister

Former Bihar Chief Minister and Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) leader Jitan Ram Manjhi is all set to be appointed Union Minister. Manjhi who won from Gaya – the lone seat HAM(S) contested – in his fourth attempt served as Bihar CM from May 2014 to February 2015.

Manjhi on Sunday posted in Hindi on X, “Will be a part of the programme at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s residence. There is good news for the people of Gaya and Bihar.” HAM(S) spokesperson Danish Rizwan told The Indian Express: “Manjhi ji received a call in the morning and was informed about him being made a minister. We are all overwhelmed. It will send a great message to the entire Dalit community in Bihar”.

HAM(S), along with the JD(U), is a constituent of the NDA in the Nitish Kumar-led government in Bihar and had backed the Nitish government with its four MLAs during the crucial trust vote this February.

Manjhi’s son Santosh Kumar Manjhi is a minister in the Nitish government. Manjhi, who had long been trying to bargain hard with the NDA, finally succeeded by now getting a ministerial berth at the Centre.

The former CM is the from Mushahar community, categorised as a Scheduled Caste (SC), and was Nitish Kumar’s surprise choice for CM in 2014, a choice dictated both by the 70-year-old’s surname and because he kept a low profile.

As CM, Manjhi was expected to keep the seat warm for Nitish who had resigned in a huff after a massive defeat in the Lok Sabha elections in 2014. It marked a big moment for Manjhi’s Mushahar community, which comprises around 2% of the state’s voters. It was also only the third time that an SC leader had become the CM of Bihar, despite the caste churning that rose from its fertile politics. The others were Bhola Paswan Shastri and Ram

Read more on indianexpress.com