Jitan Ram Manjhi calls Lalu anti-Dalit as HAM looks set to join NDA in Bihar

With assembly elections slated to be held in October – November this year, political rumblings have started in Bihar.

Former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi who recently created a flutter in Bihar politics by announcing his departure from the Mahagathbandhan, on Tuesday, termed RJD Chief Lalu Yadav “anti- Dalit”.

"It is a fact that he (Lalu Yadav) is a real villain as he cannot see any Dalit leader growing. He played a key role in my removal as Chief Minister in 2015. He is anti- Dalit," Manjhi said.

Manjhi, considered a strong Mahadalit leader in Bihar, is the only MLA from his party. He had floated Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) in 2015 and joined the NDA after he was ousted from the JD(U) for rebelling against Nitish Kumar, who had installed him as the Chief Minister of Bihar. In March 2018, he joined the grand alliance led by RJD.

However, after his differences with RJD on the issue of coordination committee last week he walked out of the opposition coalition in Bihar. The grand alliance comprises RJD, Congress, Upendra Kushwaha’s RLSP and Mukesh Sahani’s Vikasheel Insan Party.

When asked about party’s plans, HAM leaders in Patna said that Manjhi has been authorized to decisions on the issue.

"His decision will be acceptable to everyone in the party. All these issues will be finalized by the end of this month," HAM spokesperson Danish Rizwan told this newspaper.

Reports suggest that after quitting the grand alliance, he is in touch with other political parties and also exploring the possibility to become a part of the NDA in Bihar. Sources said that he has also discussed the issue with Jan Adhikar Party leader Pappu Yadav.

"Being a strong Dalit leader, he has always been an important factor in Bihar politics. He has been in touch with several political parties which include Asaduddin Owaisi’s AIMIM and JAP led by Pappu Yadav. Veteran political leader Yashwant Sinha who is trying to form a third front ahead of Bihar polls has also approached him. But in my view, he may return to NDA fold after joining hands with JD(U). He is expected to make a formal announcement on August 30," a HAM insider told this newspaper.



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