Ahead of Bihar polls, Manjhi-led HAM joins NDA

Patna, Sep 2 (IANS) Hindustan Awam Morcha (HAM) leader Jitan Ram Manjhi said on Wednesday that his party has officially joined the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) ahead of the Assembly elections in Bihar scheduled later this year.
“We have merged with the NDA without any condition. The party believes in the leadership of Nitish Kumar in Bihar and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the Centre. Seat sharing is not an issue for HAM. As a coalition partner, we will take whatever seats are offered to us,” Manjhi said.
“The main objective of the party is to defeat the grand alliance,” He added.
Earlier in the day it was reported that Manjhi is using his personal equation with top leaders of the NDA and trying that his party could contest 10 seats in the forthcoming Assembly elections in Bihar.
Manjhi had broken away from the Mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) on August 20 following a rift with the Rastriya Janata Dal (RJD) and its top leadership that includes its supreme leader Lalu Prasad and his son Tejasvi Yadav.
Manjhi recently met Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and declared the party’s intention to join the NDA. According to the political buzz in Patna, he is also angling for a Rajya Sabha nomination from the state.
Manjhi is one of the most prominent Dalit and Maha Dalit leaders in the state, along with Ram Vilas Paswan. Dalits and Mahadalits comprise 16 per cent of the electorate in Bihar. Manjhi commands a strong performance in the Gaya district in Bihar’s Magadh region.

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