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'Mountain Man' Dasharath Manjhi's Son, Son-In-Law Join JD(U)"Mountain man" Dasharath Manjhi's Son And Son-In-Law Join JD(U)Patna, J'

On Friday, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's JD(U) claimed to have received a shot in the arm with the induction of two close family members of legendary stone-cutter Dasharath Manjhi, whose feat had earned him the sobriquet "mountain man". 

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Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's JD(U) on Friday claimed to have received a shot in the arm with the induction of two close family members of legendary stone-cutter Dasharath Manjhi, whose feat had earned him the sobriquet "mountain man". 
    
Manjhi's son Bhagirath and son-in-law Mithun joined the party here in the presence of senior leaders like JD(U) state president Umesh Singh Kushwaha, Rajya Sabha member Vashishth Narayan Singh and ministers Vijay Kumar Chaudhary, Ashok Chaudhary and Sanjay Kumar Jha. 
    
Also present on the occasion was Ratnesh Sada, the party MLA, who was, earlier in the day, sworn in as a replacement for Santosh Suman who gave up his ministerial berth earlier this week. 
    
Suman, who heads Hindustani Awam Morcha founded by his father and former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, had resigned, alleging pressure from JD(U) to merge his party. 
    
The induction of family members of Dasharath Manjhi is being seen as an effort by the JD(U) to blunt attempts to play the victim card by Jitan Ram Manjhi, who, like the legendary stone-cutter belongs to the Musahar caste, and has roots in Gaya district. 
    
Unsurprisingly, JD(U) leaders present on the occasion took the opportunity to criticise Jitan Manjhi whom they accused of "ungratefulness" towards Nitish Kumar. 
    
Dasharath Manjhi, who died in 2007, a year after the state government recommended his name for a Padma Shri, is remembered for having toiled with just a hammer and a chisel for 22 years to flatten a hill and carve a pathway that reduced the distance between two administrative blocks of Gaya by nearly 40 kilometres. 
    
Having struggled to make both ends meet during his lifetime, Manjhi was nonetheless given a state funeral upon his demise. 
    
Manjhi's herculean effort had followed the death of his wife who succumbed to injuries sustained while climbing the hill to carry lunch for her husband. 
    
A biopic "Manjhi - The Mountain Man" in which Nawazuddin Siddiqui played the title role, came in 2015 and a commemorative stamp was issued a year later.

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