Ex-Bihar CM Jitan Manjhi Quits NDA to Join Grand Alliance in Bihar
The move comes after Jitan Manjhi accused the NDA of discrimination against the party.
Former Bihar chief minister and Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) chief Jitan Ram Manjhi quit the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) to join the RJD-Congress alliance in Bihar, on Wednesday, 28 February, reported ANI.
The announcement comes after Manjhi, on Sunday, 25 February, had demanded that his party be allotted one Rajya Sabha seat in the upcoming elections, failing which the party would not support the BJP-led coalition in the next one Lok Sabha and two Assembly bypolls, PTI reported.
Tejshwi Yadav, RJD leader and son of Lalu Prasad Yadav, called Manjhi an old friend of his parents and welcomed him into the alliance.
"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 bypolls," Manjhi had demanded on 25 February.
For more than a year and a half, my party and I have been working tirelessly for strengthening the NDA in Bihar. But as the saying goes – even a mother does not feed her child until he or she cries and demands attention.Jitan Ram Manjhi told PTI on 25 February
According to IANS, Manjhi had earlier said that said he would not invite any NDA leader to a party function since he was not extended the same courtesy. He also alleged that the NDA had been discriminating against and neglecting the HAM.
The Rajya Sabha election is slated for 23 March. The bypolls for Araria Lok Sabha seat and Jahanabad and Bhabhua Assembly seats are scheduled to be held on 11 March.
Manjhi had formed the HAM after walking out of the JD(U) to protest against the alleged pressure to step down as chief minister in 2015 and make way for Nitish Kumar.
He had fought the Assembly polls held the same year, as part of the NDA coalition, which lost to the Grand Alliance comprising JD(U), RJD, and Congress.
Manjhi had also expressed the wish that his party be allowed to contest bypoll from Jahanabad Assembly seat, but withdrew the demand following alleged cold response from the BJP. The seat is now being contested by the JD(U), which had initially announced that it would not contest any of the three seats going for bypolls.
(With inputs from ANI, PTI and IANS)
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