Patna: Former Bihar Chief Minister and Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) president Jitan Ram Manjhi on Tuesday said he left the Grand Alliance or Mahagathbandhan for self respect and not seats.
Manjhi left the Grand Alliance on August 20 after its largest constituent Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) refused to form a coordination committee before the upcoming assembly elections in the state.
The HAM chief had presided over a meeting of party leaders on August 20 following which he announced its separation from the Grand Alliance.
Manjhi had reportedly been upset after his demand of a coordination committee to discuss seat-sharing among Grand Alliance partners was not met. But he refused such claim and clarified that his party (HAM) has left the Grand Alliance only for self-respect and not for seats.
"When we fight together under one umbrella, seats are not an issue for us," Manjhi added.
"We had just one demand... to form a coordination committee before the assembly election. It was our long-standing demand for which I have waited for the last eight months.
"I cannot stay in a place anymore where people do not believe in democracy," Manjhi said.
Manjhi is one of the most prominent leaders of Dalit and Mahadalit communities in Bihar having 16 per cent voters.
"I will announce the future course of action on August 30," he said.
The Congress is a part of the Mahagathbandhan in Bihar. Besides Congress, the grand alliance now comprises the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD), Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) and Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP).
The term of the Bihar legislative assembly comes to an end on November 29 and polls are likely to he held sometime in October-November.
Several bypolls were recently postponed mainly due to coronavirus and rains. No fresh schedule has been announced as yet.
(With Inputs from various agencies)