Former Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi on Wednesday announced that he was leaving the NDA to join hands with the grand alliance with Congress and the RJD.
The announcement came after the Dalit leader reportedly held closed door talks with the RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav. A formal announcement is like later today, said sources close to Manjhi.
Majnhi was reportedly unhappy after his wish to field his son from the Jehanabad assembly seat for the upcoming by-polls was rejected by the NDA. The BJP wanted Abhiram Sharma as party candidate. One source said that Manjhi was keen to field his son from Jehanabad seat in order to establish his political career, but was snubbed by the BJP.
There are reports that he also wanted the NDA to leave one of the six Rajya Sabha seats for his party. “The NDA must announce at least one Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) leader among its candidates for the six Rajya Sabha seats in Bihar. If that does not happen, our party workers will not campaign for candidates of the coalition in the by-polls,” PTI had quoted Manjhi as saying.
“Mr. Manjhi is like my guardian and he will get his due respect in our grand alliance”, Tejaswi Yadav was quoted as saying.
Manjhi was a part of the JDU, but had quit the party after he was removed as the state’s chief minister to make way for Nitish Kumar. He had contested the Bihar assembly polls as part of the NDA under by forming a new party, Hindustani Awam Morcha. He was the only candidate to have won in the assembly elections.