After securing recognition as a political party from the Election Commission of India (ECI), former Bihar chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi-led Hindustani Awam Morcha-Secular (HAM-S) is set to drive a hard seat-sharing bargain with the BJP in the coming assembly elections. HAM-S sources said the ECI’s recognition letter was received late afternoon on Tuesday.
Early on Wednesday, Manjhi broke the news in simultaneous posts on his Twitter and Facebook accounts. “HAM-S has received ECI recognition. We will soon know about the election symbol….we shall succeed,” he wrote on Facebook.
Earlier in Gaya, Manjhi said that although HAM-S was a part of the NDA, the BJP could not take him for granted. “If we are unable to reach an honourable settlement, HAM-S may contest all 243 assembly seats,” he said.
Asked if Manjhi’s ‘warning’ on seat-sharing had anything to do with the recognition, his media advisor, Ved Prakash, said: “The position taken by him at Gaya is self-explanatory.”
Other sources in HAM-S indicated the party was preparing itself to demand “about 70 assembly seats” of the total 243.