Nitish Kumar was on Saturday elected as Leader of the JD(U) Legislature Party at a meeting called by party President Sharad Yadav to replace Jitan Ram Manjhi as Chief Minister of Bihar.
Masaurhi MLA Arun Manjhi, considered a supporter of Manjhi, proposed Kumar’s name, which was approved by others, Minister Shrawan Kumar told reporters.
The meeting, which was dubbed by defiant Manjhi as “unauthorised”, was attended by 97 out of 111 JD(U) MLAs and 37 out of a total of 41 members of the Legislative Council, party sources said.
Manjhi had instead called a meeting of the Legislature Party in the capacity of being leader of the House in the evening of February 20.
The election of Nitish Kumar paves the way for the former chief minister to take over the mantle again by replacing Manjhi whom he had handpicked to become the chief minister after he had resigned.
Shrawan Kumar said Kumar had been asked to plan further action.
State JD(U) President Basistha Narayan Singh and JD(U) general secretary K C Tyagi were also present at the meeting.
The election of Kumar as the new leader of the party in the House comes nearly eight months after he resigned as CM in May, 2014 in the wake of party’s poor performance in the general election. He had handpicked Jitan Ram Manjhi to succeed him.
Later, Manjhi rebelled against him.
Manjhi and seven ministers who had sided with him in the Cabinet meeting were absent along with some other MLAs and MLCs.