"I have become chief minister by fate and blessings of my predecessor Nitish Kumar, but I would seriously wish that the next chief minister should come from the Scheduled Castes (SC)," he said during a civic reception at Banshidhar High School premises under Adapur block in Bihar's East Champaran  district.

"It does not matter whether I get another term in the office or not... but the next chief minister must come from the SCs," Manjhi said amid thunderous applause by the audience.

The Chief Minister's advocacy of a SC or dalit as his successor may raise eyebrows in the ruling JD(U) which has several prominent OBC and upper caste leaders within its ranks.

Manjhi also thanked senior JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar for handpicking him as his successor and said the latter showed great foresight to appoint him as his successor.

"Kumar could have picked up a leader from his own caste or anybody else as his successor after quitting the chief minister's post, but he went for me," Manjhi said, adding that he will be forever grateful for being bestowed the great honour.

Hinting that he might have become the chief minister by default or providence, Manjhi said he would like the next chief minister be selected from the SC community, in an indirect reference to SCs being the biggest block of population in Bihar.

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