Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today presided over a meeting of his cabinet which triggered debate in the political circle. Though officially the cabinet meeting is said to be a routine affair of the government's functioning, its timing, a day before declaration of results, triggered interest.
The exit polls have predicted poor performance of ruling JD(U) in the 40 Parliamentary seats in Bihar. The projections have given wing to speculations that days of Nitish Kumar government in Bihar are numbered. Kumar's friend-turned foe BJP, in between the poll had claimed that 50 JD(U) MLAs disappointed with the CM were in touch with them and helping BJP in the Lok Sabha polls.
Former Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi's claim had caused speculation that a win for BJP under Narendra Modi would spell trouble for the Nitish Kumar government. A senior leader Ashwani Choubey, who himself is in fray from Buxar, had specified May 21 as the date when Kumar government would collapse.
Rubbishing all such theories, Social Welfare minister Jeetan Ram Manjhi told reporters outside the CM residence that "there is no danger to the government." "The truth remains many BJP MLAs are indeed in touch with us," he said. The Bihar cabinet meeting took place at CM's One Anne Marg residence instead of normal venue at Secretariat.
Sources said that five out of 14 ministers were not present in the cabinet meeting. Among the absentees were Vijendra Yadav, Narendra Narayan Yadav, Narendra Singh, Shahid Ali Khan and Lessi Singh. Vijendra Yadav and Narendra Narayan Yadav are considered close to party President Sharad Yadav whose remarks on the CM during campaigning had provided opportunity to the opposition to claim that everything was not well within the party. Narendra Singh's occasional comments during campaign had also highlighted his disenchantment.