Jitan Ram Manjhi to quit Mahagathbandhan? Decision likely soon as key demand goes unheard

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Updated: Jul 07, 2020 3:15 PM

Jitan Ram Manjhi has called Hindustani Awam Morcha's core committee meeting on July 10 in Patna. It is likely that Manjhi could take a call on staying with the grand alliance or going his own way.

Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) chief and former Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi. (File photo)

Former Bihar Chief Minister and Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) Jitan Ram Manjhi has called a meeting of the party’s core committee to chalk out the strategy ahead of Assembly elections in the state. According to reports, Manjhi is in no mood to compromise on his demand to form a coordination committee for the grand alliance comprising five political parties.

The Hindustani Awam Morcha’s core committee meeting is scheduled on July 10 in Patna. It is likely that Manjhi could take a call on staying with the grand alliance or going his own way.

The grand alliance in Bihar comprises RJD, Congress, HAM, RLSP and VIP.

Manjhi has been insisting the grand alliance constituents to form a coordination committee so that all parties can discuss the issues like seat sharing and the chief ministerial candidate.

Manjhi has already declared that RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav may be the chief ministerial face of the RJD, but not of the Grand Alliance. The RJD, on its part, has said that the alliance will contest the elections under the leadership of Tejashwi.

According to Manjhi, the decision on who should be the chief ministerial candidate of the grand alliance should be decided by a coordination committee.

Recently, the Congress high command had called Manjhi to Delhi for discussions where the HAM leader again raised the demand to form a coordination committee. Although the Congress high command is learnt to have assured Manjhi that RJD will soon form a coordination committee, nothing has moved in this regard.

“Congress has said they will sort things (in the alliance) till 10th July. It depends on their decision, if they are able to mediate and our demands are met then all right, otherwise we will announce our decision on 11th,” Manjhi said.

Besides Manjhi, RLSP chief Upendra Kushwaha and VIP chief Mukesh Sahni fear that they could be allotted a smaller number of seats when the matter comes up for discussion.

Not only Manjhi, the RLSP, VIP and HAM have also expressed reservations on the RJD making a unilateral decision of Tejashwi being declared the chief ministerial candidate of the grand alliance. Tejashwi is the son of RJD supremo and jailed former Bihar CM Lalu.

Under Tejashwi’s leadership, the grand alliance had contested the general elections last year, but the alliance won just 1 of the 40 seats. Since then, the grand alliance constituents have been vocal against Tejashwi and have insisted for a change, saying he can’t pose a stiff challenge to the popularity of Ntish Kumar in the elections.

Bihar will go to polls in October-November this year. This would be perhaps the toughest battle of Tejashwi as the outcome will determine the fate of his political career. Nitish Kumar will seek a fourth consecutive win.

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