Patna: Former Bihar chief minister and Hindustan Awam Morcha (HAM) leader Jitan Ram Manjhi aims to contest on 10 seats in the forthcoming assembly elections in Bihar. Various sources says that he is using his personal equity with top leaders of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) to get the seats for his party.
According to the political buzz in Patna, he is also angling for a Rajya Sabha nomination from the state.
Manjhi broke away from the Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance) on August 20 following a rift with the Rastriya Janata Dal and its top leadership that includes its supreme leader Lalu Prasad and his son Tejasvi Yadav.
Manjhi had recently met Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and declared the party's intention to join the NDA.
Danish Rizwan, the official spokesperson of the HAM, has confirmed the development. The party will officially join the NDA on September 3, added Rizwan.
"We were one of the partners of the grand alliance but the political formation was dominated entirely by Tejasvi Yadav and his family. They did not pay any attention to our aspirations. Our leader was left with no option but to move out of the alliance to keep his self-respect intact," Rizwan said.
"We have a good understanding with Nitish Kumar and we are looking forward to the the elections in a bid to defeat the grand alliance," Rizwan said.
Meanwhile the expected entry of Manjhi's HAM in the National Democratic Alliance ahead of assembly polls has added to disquiet within another NDA constituent Lok Janshakti Party, which has called a meeting of its state parliamentary board next week.
In an indication of the LJP's worsening relations with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal (United), party sources said the main item on the agenda when its board members meet on September 7 is whether to put up its candidates against the JD(U).
The Chirag Paswan-headed party has so far refrained from targeting the BJP and has been even praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership while keeping Kumar in its crosshairs.
The LJP believes that Kumar has brought Manjhi in the NDA to corner it as it has been the main party identified with Dalits in the alliance.
The BJP has so far refused to take sides in the feud between the two parties and played down their differences, insisting that the NDA is intact and will fight the assembly polls, expected in October-November, together.
(With inputs from PTI and IANS)