Patna, June 13 () Santosh Kumar Suman, Bihar Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe Welfare Minister and son of Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) patron Jitan Ram Manjhi on Tuesday resigned from the state cabinet.
Suman and his father met with state Finance Minister Vijay Kumar Chaudhary and discussed the seat sharing formula for half an hour which was not agreed to. Hence, Suman immediately resigned from the post of cabinet minister.
“A mega meeting of opposition leaders is scheduled on June 23 and we are not invited. They are not recognising our party, so how could we stay here,” Suman said.
The move is being considered as a big jolt to Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s efforts for opposition unity ahead of the mega meeting in Patna. A total of 18 parties will be invited for the mega event but HAM led by Manjhi is not invited for it.
However, coming out from the residence of Chaudhary, Manjhi claimed: “The negotiation is currently underway and if Nitish Kumar accepts our demands, we are with him and the Mahagathbandhan.”
When Suman came out from the residence of Chaudhary, he said that he had given his resignation to him.
Ganesh Prajapati, the media coordinator of the HAM, has also confirmed that Suman has resigned from the Nitish Kumar cabinet.
Prajapati said that Manjhi was demanding five Lok Sabha seats for HAM in the general elections in 2024 while JD(U) leaders are pressurising him to merge his party with their party. “This has led to conflict and our leader has resigned from the post of cabinet minister,” Prajapati said.
The HAM has four MLAs and one MLC Suman.
Earlier, Manjhi had met Nitish Kumar as well as Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
Following the resignation of Suman, Lesi Singh, the cabinet minister in Nitish Kumar government and JD(U) leader said: “The Nitish Kumar government is not affected by such resignation. Leaders come and go during elections. Nitish Kumar had sacrificed his chief minister post and given it to his (Suman’s) father (Manjhi). What would be a bigger sacrifice than that.”
Jama Khan, another minister in Nitish cabinet said: “Our government has seven-party Mahagathbandhan. If any trivial dispute takes place, we will sort out such problems. The bigger question here is to save the country.”