Bihar Minister Santosh Suman expressed "full satisfaction" with his role in the state’s new NDA government, dismissing any discord highlighted by his father Jitan Ram Manjhi, a former chief minister and founder of the Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM), as reported by PTI. Suman, who assumed charge of the SC and ST Welfare and Information Technology departments, responded to queries regarding Manjhi’s mixed sentiments about HAM receiving only one cabinet berth instead of more coveted portfolios.
"I am completely satisfied. His (Manjhi’s) personal opinion should be sought," said Suman, who also serves as the national president of the four-MLA-strong HAM.
According to PTI, Manjhi had asserted that he was offered the chief minister’s post if he switched to the ‘Mahagathbandhan’ led. by the RJD. He likened his demand for additional cabinet berths and better portfolios in the NDA government to "a family member asking for a third roti if two do not suffice".
Suman disapproved of his father’s claims about the CM’s post-offer, stating, "This is nonsense"and remarked, "I believe he only wants the better opportunity for the party to serve the people. We have got the opportunity and for that, I sincerely thank Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.".
Less than a year ago, Suman relinquished his ministerial position when Manjhi, under pressure from Kumar to merge HAM with JD(U), parted ways, exited the ‘Mahagathbandhan’, and joined the NDA. There are speculations that Kumar’s re-entry into the NDA might not sit well with partners like Manjhi and RLJD president Upendra Kushwaha, who both joined the BJP-led coalition after their relationships soured with the chief minister.
However. , Suman dismissed this concern, stating "I am excited to have the information technology department. The state is making efforts to evolve into an IT hub. That I will be a part of this process is a matter of pride.” He also affirmed that HAM will be "firmly by the NDA’s side" in the upcoming biennial polls to six Rajya Sabha seats in Bihar, and expressed confidence in winning the newly formed government in the trust vote which is scheduled on February 12.