Jitan Ram Manjhi
Jitan Ram Manjhi
Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular)
Date Of Birth:
06 Oct 1944
Jitan Ram Manjhi (born 6 October 1944) is an Indian politician from the eastern state of Bihar who served as its 23rd Chief Minister from 20 May 2014 to 20 February 2015. Previously, he had served as minister for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes welfare in Nitish Kumar's cabinet. He has been a minister in several Bihar state governments, under multiple chief ministers like Chandrashekhar Singh, Bindeshwari Dubey, Satyendra Narayan Sinha, Jagannath Mishra, Laloo Prasad Yadav and Rabri Devi. Manjhi has been a member of the Bihar Legislative Assembly since 1980. He was affiliated with several political parties, Indian National Congress (1980–1990), Janata Dal (1990–1996), Rashtriya Janata Dal (1996–2005) and JD(U) (2005–2015). He was expelled from JD(U) following the February 2015 political crisis and subsequently Jitan Ram Manjhi emerged as a major Dalit face in Bihar. In May 2015, he announced the new political party, Hindustani Awam Morcha. In July 2015, Jitan Ram Manjhi was accorded "Z"-plus security cover by the Union Home Ministry. Jitan Ram Manjhi entered politics in 1980. On the ticket of the Indian National Congress party, he contested and won the assembly elections from the Fatehpur segment in Gaya district. He became a minister for the first time in the Chandrashekhar Singh-led government in Bihar. He won from the same constituency in the 1985 election, but lost in 1990. Between 1980 and 1990, he served as a minister of state in successive cabinets headed by Congress chief ministers Bindeshwari Dubey, Satyendra Narayan Sinha and Jagannath Mishra. Rashtriya Janata Dal: Immediately after losing the 1990 election, Manjhi switched to the Janata Dal. But when the Janata Dal split in 1996 and Laloo Prasad Yadav formed his own Rashtriya Janata Dal, Manjhi moved to the RJD under Yadav and won the Barachatti seat in the 1996 by-election (the previous incumbent Bhagwati Devi had left this seat to become a Member of Parliament from Gaya constituency). In the following election in 2000, he again won the same seat on an RJD ticket. Throughout 1996 to 2005, Manjhi was a minister in the RJD state government in Bihar, first under the chief ministership of Yadav himself, and then under Rabri Devi, Yadav's wife who took the chair of CM after Yadav himself was convicted and jailed for the Fodder Scam. Janata Dal (United): When Yadav's RJD lost the October 2005 elections to the Bharatiya Janata Party-Janata Dal (United) NDA coalition, Manjhi switched loyalties to the JDU. He won the election from Barachatti putting behind Samta Deva of his previous party RJD. However, Manjhi was asked to resign immediately on the next day when his involvement in a corruption scam surfaced. Manjhi was involved in a fake B.Ed. degree racket in Bihar as the state education minister in the RJD government during the 1990s.As a junior minister in the Rabri Devi government, he was alleged to have given illegal permissions to institutes to run fake degree courses. He was later re-inducted in the state government cabinet by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in 2008 after having absolved of the charges. During the 2008 food crisis in Bihar, Manjhi promoted eating rats as they caused damage to food grains and as rats and chickens had "equal food values, not only in terms of protein, but in all areas of nutrition". Rat catching is common with people of the socioeconomically backward Musahar caste, to which Manjhi belongs. In the 2010 Bihar elections, he was elected to state legislative assembly from Makhdumpur in Jehanabad district. After Kumar split his party Janata Dal (United) from the NDA to oppose coalition leader Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, Manjhi contested from Gaya but lost heavily and came a poor third behind winner Hari Manjhi (BJP) and Ramji Manjhi (RJD).