Ahead of June 12 meet, Manjhi demands five LS seats for party - Hindustan Times
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Ahead of June 12 meet, Manjhi demands five LS seats for party

By, Patna
Jun 02, 2023 09:43 PM IST

Manjhi’s statement comes days ahead of a meeting scheduled in Patna on June 12 of leaders of various political parties from across the country who are keen on forming a united front to challenge BJP in the 2024 parliamentary polls.

Former Bihar chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, whose Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) is a constituent of the ruling alliance in the state, on Friday said his party expects to get at least five seats to contest in the Lok Sabha polls next year.

HAM (S) founder Jitan Ram Manjhi addresses a press conference in Patna on Friday. (Santosh Kumar/HT Photo)
HAM (S) founder Jitan Ram Manjhi addresses a press conference in Patna on Friday. (Santosh Kumar/HT Photo)

“We want at least five seats, which is very less. We are preparing in all 40 Lok Sabha seats. It would be good if CM Nitish Kumar gives us a respectable shares of seats. That would be better for the alliance,” Manjhi told reporters at his residence in Patna.

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HAM(S) leaders, who didn’t wish to be named, said the party is keen on contesting from Gaya, Jamui, Aurangabad, Samastipur and Purnea Lok Sabha seats.

“Whichever side HAM(S) supports, it wins. We are in the mahagathbandhan (the ruling alliance in Bihar) and we want to stay with it. But it would be good if we get a respectable seat share,” Manjhi said.

HAM(S) has four legislators in the 243-member legislative assembly. Manjhi’s son Santosh Kumar Suman, who is the party national president and a member of legislative council (MLC), is also a minister in the Nitish Kumar government. The party is keen on a second berth in the state cabinet, its leaders said.

HAM(S)’s exit from the mahagathbandhan will not have any immediate bearing on the alliance government in Bihar, which enjoys a comfortable majority and has CM Kumar’s JD-U, Lalu Prasad’s RJD and Congress as its main constituents. It is also supported by the Left parties.

Manjhi’s statement comes days ahead of a meeting scheduled in Patna on June 12 of leaders of various political parties from across the country who are keen on forming a united front to challenge BJP in the 2024 parliamentary polls.

Reacting to the former CM’s demand, RJD’s Mritunjay Tiwary said, “Manjhi ji should prepare in all 40 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar as it would help our alliance in getting votes in all seats. Seat sharing would be done by top leaders of our alliance at an opportune time.”

State Congress spokesperson Kuntal Krishna said Manjhi’s demand reflects his overambitious side.

Meanwhile, another regional party in Bihar, the Mukesh Sahni-led Vikasheel Insaan Party( VIP), which has remained close to the ruling alliance in the state, is hedging its bets ahead of the 2024 Lok Sabha polls.

“We have still not decided on attending the June 12 meeting. A decision will be taken soon,” said party’s spokesperson Dev Jyoti.

VIP has no member either in the state assembly or in the Parliament.

The BJP, on its part, dismissed the bid for a pan-India opposition unity as “hype”.

Former Bihar minister Mangal Pandey said, “We are getting to hear that CMs of several states are not coming. The balloon has already been pricked.”

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