Manjhi may join NDA, rock grand alliance

Jitan Ram Manjhi. PTI file photo

Is former Bihar chief minister and president of Hindustan Awam Morcha (HAM) Jitan Ram Manjhi planning to desert the Grand Alliance and cross over to BJP-led NDA for greener pastures? Sources aware of the developments say there is a strong possibility of such move which may eventually upset Congress-RJD’s applecart.

Close on the heels of Bihar BJP president Nityanand Rai extending an olive branch to Manjhi, the JD (U) state president Basishtha Narain Singh too on Sunday echoed similar sentiments. “If Manjhi joins the NDA, we will re-work seat-sharing formula and accommodate him,” said Singh, Nitish’s closest aide.     

Manjhi, who met Lalu Prasad in Ranchi on Saturday and said “all is well in the Mahagatbandhan”, is being looked upon suspiciously as he recently praised Nitish when the latter said, “No one could scrap Article 370 in J-K.”

Earlier this month, Manjhi had slammed TMC president and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee when she staged dharna to protest CBI decision to interrogate one of the top cops in Bengal. Manjhi slammed Mamata when the other Mahagatbandhan leader Tejashwi Yadav was sharing the stage with Bengal CM.

SIGNIFICANCE OF MANJHI

Till last year, Manjhi was with the NDA and is now with the Grand Alliance (GA). However, he is now contemplating to quit GA if his unreasonable demands (of more Lok Sabha seats) are not met. His party HAM (which has just one MLA - Manjhi himself is the only representative, and no MP) may be driving a hard bargain with Mahagatbandhan leaders for more seats but deep within, Manjhi too knows he is no Mayawati who could tilt the balance. 

 

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Manjhi may join NDA, rock grand alliance

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