Who Is Ex Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi? Likely To Join PM Modi's Cabinet

Former Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi is anticipated to join Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet as he takes the oath for his third consecutive term today.

Former Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi is anticipated to join Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet as he takes the oath for his third consecutive term today.

Jitan Ram Manjhi, the leader of Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM), served as Bihar’s chief minister from 2014 to 2015. Notably, he was the first chief minister from the state’s Musahar community, a Dalit subgroup.

Manjhi’s political career began in 1980 when he was elected as an MLA, and he later represented Bihar’s Gaya constituency in the Lok Sabha. Over the years, he has been associated with several political parties, including a close alliance with Nitish Kumar’s Janata Dal (United). He started his political journey with the Congress party and served in three consecutive cabinets under Congress chief ministers in Bihar from 1980 to 1990.

After 1990, Manjhi joined Lalu Prasad Yadav’s Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) after breaking away from the Janata Dal. From 1996 to 2005, he held ministerial positions in the RJD state government before switching to Nitish Kumar’s JD(U).

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In 2021, Manjhi stirred controversy by using an expletive against Brahmins, which led to backlash from the community and a bounty of ₹11 lakh for cutting off his tongue. A viral video showed him criticizing the increasing ritualism among Dalits with harsh language.

In 2022, Manjhi again faced criticism, this time from the BJP, for remarks about Lord Ram. During an event celebrating BR Ambedkar’s birth anniversary, he claimed that Lord Ram was a mythical character rather than a god. He questioned the upper castes’ adherence to untouchability practices and stated, “I don’t think Lord Ram was a god. He was a character in Valmiki’s Ramayana and Tulsidas’ Ramacharitmanas, both of which offer valuable teachings.”

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