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All well in grand alliance, says Jitan Ram Manjhi, March 17 meet to finalise seat sharing

Everything will be clear after the grand alliance meeting in Delhi on March 17, said Hindustani Awam Morcha-Secular (HAM-S) spokesman Dhirendra Kumar Munna.

lok sabha elections Updated: Mar 15, 2019 20:33 IST
Subhash Pathak
Subhash Pathak
Hindustan Times, Patna
grand alliance,Jitan Ram Manjhi,Congress
Patna: Hindustani Awam Morcha Secular (HAMS) National President Jitan Ram Manjhi addresses the media, in Patna, Monday, Feb 18, 2019. (PTI Photo) (PTI2_18_2019_000149A)(PTI)

Putting at rest speculations of dissension within the Grand Alliance (GA), former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi on Friday said he had no complaints over the seat-sharing pact, which would be finalised in the next couple of days.

“I have expressed my desire to the GA leaders, and hope that it would be regarded,” said Manjhi, who had founded the Hindustani Awam Morcha-Secular (HAM-S), before leaving the party leaders’ meeting at his official residence at Patna.

“HAM-S will not opt out the GA, even if it were not allotted any seat in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls,” he asserted.

HAM-S spokesman Dhirendra Kumar Munna said Manjhi would lead the parliamentary committee meeting on Saturday to fine tune the campaign strategy and shortlist the candidates in accordance with the probable seats the party could get in its kitty. “Everything will be clear after the GA meeting at Patna on March 17,” Munna said.

Fresh from the initial round of talks with the GA leaders in Delhi, leaders of the Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee (BPCC) held a marathon meeting at the party office, Sadaquat Ashram, on Friday to prepare the electoral strategy for the party’s candidates and also seek their views about their preparedness on different seats, which the party intends to fight.

All India Congress Committee (AICC) in-charge Shaktisinh Gohil and BPCC chief Madan Mohan Jha, chairman of the BPCC campaign committee Akhilesh Prasad Singh, Congress legislature party leader Sadanand Singh, MLC Prem Chandra Mishra and working presidents of BPCC participated in the meeting.

Akhilesh Prasad Singh said that the BPCC election committee has authorised Congress president Rahul Gandhi to take a final call on the seats and decide the candidates to contest on the party seats. “The Congress is set to contest 11 out of 40 seats in the upcoming LS polls in Bihar,” he added.

However, a section of the party leaders felt that the Congress could get more seats in its quota if things settled favourably.

“The GA will win all 40 seats in Bihar and Rahul Gandhi will become the next Prime Minister,” said Kishore Kumar Jha, member of the election preparedness committee, after the meeting, adding that HAM-S, Upendra Kushwaha-led Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) and Sharad Yadav-led Loktantrik Janata Dal (LJD) would also be allotted reasonable seats to defeat the NDA.

In the e first phase of elections, slated to go to the polls on April 11, Congress has been allotted Aurangabad, while HAM-S is set to contest Gaya and RJD will field its candidate on Jamui seat.

“There are some issues with respect to Nawada, which would be sorted out at March 17 meeting in presence of GA leaders. Manjhi is likely to skip,” said a Congress senior leader, adding that RJD leader Tejashwi Prasad Yadav will return from Delhi only after the final negotiations.

All senior Congress leaders will go to Delhi again late evening and meet the party high command ahead of the GA’s scheduled meeting on Sunday.

First Published: Mar 15, 2019 19:05 IST