Jitan Ram Manjhi’s party preps to switch sides again ahead of Bihar elections
The party, which contested the Lok Sabha elections as part of the Grand Alliance, had issued an ultimatum for formation of a coordination committee in the alliance by June 25, to start seat sharing talks.Updated: Jul 06, 2020 22:03 IST
Former Bihar chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi’s Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) –(HAM-S), in all likelihood, may become a part of the NDA. If party sources are to be believed, an announcement in this regard will be made on July 10.
The party, which contested the Lok Sabha elections as part of the Grand Alliance, had issued an ultimatum for formation of a coordination committee in the alliance by June 25, to start seat sharing talks.
“Now that our deadline is over, the party core committee at a recently held meeting has authorized party president Jitan Ram Manjhi to take a call on the party’s future course of action. The core committee is meeting on July 10 and the picture will become clear after that,” party’s spokesperson Danish Rizwan said.
HAM-S has one member each in the Bihar Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council.
Sources in the party said that HAM-S becoming a part of the NDA is all but a formality. “The party has laid no pre-conditions on seats,” said a senior party leader, who wished not to be quoted.
Party sources said that despite assurance of an early settlement on issues related to seat adjustment and demand for a co-ordination committee at a virtual meeting of Grand Alliance parties, there seems to be no urgency for bigger parties of the alliance,” Rizwan said.
Manjhi had demanded a discussion on the forthcoming polls on issues of seat adjustment, candidates, etc., and had also demanded a co-ordination committee in the GA. “In case a co-ordination committee could not be formed by June 25, I will be free to take a call on my future course of action,” Manjhi had said.
NDA leaders feel that if at all Manjhi joins the alliance; the JD (U) will use it to silence LJP, which of late has been embarrassing the government by raising different issues. “If somebody shows trust in NDA’s leadership and policy, we do not have any problem in anybody’s joining,” said BJP spokesperson Nikhil Anand.
Manjhi was with JD (U) before he was picked as chief minister in 2014. He, however, had to resign a year later, as he lost the trust of his own party and went on to form a new party.
The RJD does not seem rattled by Manjhi’s ultimatum. Instead, it accused him of weakening the alliance. “RJD is the biggest party in the GA and allies should remain united to defeat the ruling NDA in the forthcoming polls,” he said. In fact, leader of the opposition in the Bihar assembly, Tejashwi Yadav, had said on Sunday that “everybody should be ready for a bigger sacrifice,” in an oblique reference to pressure politics by some partners.