Anyone Can become a Naxalite; Says Jitan Ram Manjhi

Former CM Jitan Ram Manjhi holding a convention at S. K. Memorial Hall in Patna on Friday.

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Patna: Former Chief Minister of Bihar Jitan Ram did himself no favor on Friday when he said that some 'petty criminals' in Gaya were trying to give bad name to the Naxals and if the police failed to protect the honor of mothers, daughters, and sisters, it was only natural for someone to become a Naxalite.

In an attempt to ward off accusations of him being a Naxalite, the leader of the Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM), an ally of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), said that the release of posters containing his pictures by the Communist Party of India (CPI-Maoist) in Imamganj in Gaya was the handiwork of some petty criminals and he did not pay any attention to it.

"Since the '80s when I was a state minister, I have been accused of being a Naxalite. There is nothing new about it. However, when the authorities fail to protect the honor of our mothers, daughters, and sisters, it is only natural if some people join the Naxal movement," Manjhi said.

Pivoting towards his mistreatment by the Nitish camp, Manjhi said that Nitish Kumar had thought of him as a weak leader and that is why he was put in the Chief Minister's chair so Kumar could pull his strings from behind the curtain.

"I, however, proved them otherwise. Now they know what metal I am made of," Manjhi proclaimed.

Accusing Nitish Kumar of being anti-dalit, the HAM leader said that it was evident the Chief Minister was denying the rights of the dalits by slashing scholarship amount for them from Rs. 1 lakh to Rs. 15,000 only.

"When the students protested against the cut in the scholarship, they were chased by the police and brutally beaten up. This is how Nitish Kumar treats the students of Bihar," he said.

Without mentioning the name of Uday Narayan Chowdhary, former legislator from Imamganj and the current Speaker of the state Assembly, Manjhi said that a 'certain former JD-U legislator was plotting to have him killed'.

"He has been involved in several political assassinations in Bihar and now I am in his crosshair," he said.

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