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Efforts initiated to avoid showdown between Manjhi and party

Jitan Ram Manjhi

Patna: After dismissing two ministers from his rival camp, Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi today called a meeting of his cabinet this afternoon amidst reports that he might recommend dissolution of the state assembly.

The meeting of the state cabinet has been called at 2 PM today, highly placed party sources said.

The timing of cabinet meeting has been kept close to the JD(U) LP meeting called by party President Sharad Yadav at 4 PM.

Rural Development Minister Nitish Mishra, who has expressed support to Manjhi, confirmed the cabinet meeting but said he is yet to receive official communication on it so far.

Food minister Shyam Rajak, a close confidant of JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar told he was not aware of the meeting.

“But, if there is a meeting I will go because till the date Manjhi is the CM,” he said.

Meanwhile, JD(U) General Secretary K C Tyagi made it clear that Nitish Kumar would be elected at JD(U)LP meeting to take over the reins from Manjhi.

“Nitish Kumar is the first and the last choice for choosing new leader of party in the assembly,” he said.

Tyagi, a close supporter of Sharad Yadav blamed BJP national leadership for triggering the crisis in the JD(U) government. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah have written the script of the going on in Bihar.”

While a showdown in JD(U) is looking definite, there is no word on arrival of the governor, who holds additional charge of Bihar, to Patna from Kolkata, Rajbhawan sources said.

A defiant Manjhi is sticking to his official programme listed for the day.

He is scheduled to inaugurate a seminar organized by Bihar Foundation in Patna and depart for Delhi at 5 PM, according to programme schedule issued by the CMO.

But, CMO in a release announced cancellation of his interaction programme with the general people scheduled for Monday due to “pressing reasons.”

Launching an offensive against his rival camp, Manjhi had late last night recommended to Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi the dismissal of ministers Rajiv Ranjan Singh Lallan and P K Sahi considered close to Kumar, the former chief minister.

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