Former Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi's Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) (HAM-S) has joined the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), just weeks after leaving the ‘mahagathbandhan’. This comes just weeks ahead of the Assembly elections in Bihar.
Manjhi on Wednesday, 2 September said that seat-sharing is yet to be discussed with JD(U).
“We have forged an alliance with Janata Dal (United) and have become a part of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA). There has been no discussion about seat-sharing in the next Bihar Assembly elections,” ANI quoted Manjhi as saying.
The party had decided to leave the 'grand alliance' last month. The alliance, also known as the mahagathbandhan, includes Tejashwi Yadav's Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), the Congress, the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) and the Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP) in Bihar.
‘Ignored in Mahagathbandhan’
"We were ignored in mahagathbandhan. They thought we have no potential. How long would we have tolerated? (I) don't think there was a meeting of the alliance's senior leaders in the last one to one-and-a-half years. It was lethal for the welfare of the poor. We decided to fight for their rights by leaving the alliance," Santosh Kumar Suman, an MLC and the son of Manjhi, had been quoted as saying by news agency ANI in August.
According to an India Today report at the time, one of the friction points had stemmed from HAM's demand of having a coordination committee to discuss seat-sharing not being met.
The elections in Bihar, expected to be held in October and November, would see the grand alliance squaring off against the ruling coalition of Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal (United) (JDU) and the BJP. The elections would come as the country is grappling with the COVID-19 outbreak.