Jitan Ram Manjhi
Jitan Ram ManjhiIANS

After being expelled from his party Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi has sought more time to prove his majority in the House, while former CM Nitish Kumar staked claim to form government saying he will prove majority at any time.

"Nitish would prove majority wherever and wherever he is asked to. It should be done in the next 18 to 24 hours," India Today quoted RJD president Lalu Prasad as saying.

Lalu said he has requested Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi to call Nitish to form the government as soon as possible. Nitish, along with JD (U) chief Sharad Yadav and Lalu, met Tripathi on Monday to stake claim to form the government.

"We told the governor that we have the majority... We also told him that 130 legislators who support us are present at the Raj Bhavan's gate with their identity cards and their head count can be carried out to ascertain our claim," Nitish said.

Manjhi, who refused to resign as CM after being expelled on Monday, too met Tripathi seeking time until 19 February to prove his majority on the floor of the Assembly. "I have told the governor that I am ready to prove majority on February 19, 20 or 23 on the floor of the House," Manjhi said.

Nitish has, however, objected to Manjhi's move claiming that the delay in government formation will lead to horse trading and pressed the need to settle the political turmoil in the state as soon as possible as the budget session is scheduled to start from 20 February.

"We told him (governor) that the delay would only lead to horse trading. We apprised him of the necessity to do it at the earliest since the budget session of the Assembly is around the corner," Nitish said.

"After his meeting, it seemed as if Manjhi had got the licence for horse trading," Nitish added.

The political battle was ignited within the party after Manjhi was asked to step down as CM so that Nitish can take over. The party wanted Nitish to replace Manjhi in the wake of the assembly elections scheduled sometime at the end of this year.

However, Manjhi refused to resign and challenged the party to remove him, resulting in the political deadlock within the party.