Jitan Ram Manjhi-led HAM-S exits Grand Alliance ahead of Bihar assembly polls
In a setback to the Grand Alliance before the Bihar assembly polls, former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi-led Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) (HAM-S) has announced that it will leave the alliance.
The party, which is all set to join the NDA, will take a call on the issue in a couple of days. “The party’s executive committee has authorized Manjhi ji to take a call on the future course of action,” HAM-S spokesperson Danish Rizwan said.
Sources in the party said that the HAM-S may either merge with the JD(U) or enter into an alliance with the party for the Bihar Assembly election. “Politics is full of probabilities and possibilities,” Rizwan added.
Manjhi, who was once critical of Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, of late has been heaping praise on different decisions taken by the state government.
The party had contested the Lok Sabha elections as part of the Grand Alliance, but had issued an ultimatum for the formation of a coordination committee in the alliance by June 25, so that seat sharing talks could begin.
Manjhi, however, during the last couple of months had been exploring options of an alliance with different parties including Owaisi led-AIMIM.
Earlier, Manjhi had fallen out with Nitish Kumar after he was made to quit the CM’s post in early 2015. He walked out of the NDA after a poor show in the 2015 Assembly polls.
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.
NDA leaders feel that if at all Manjhi joins the alliance, the JD(U) will use it to silence the LJP, which of late has been embarrassing the government by raising different issues. “If somebody shows trust in the NDA’s leadership and policy, we do not have any problem with other parties joining,” BJP spokesperson Nikhil Anand said.
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