Manjhi quits NDA to join RJD- led Grand Alliance

Patna: In a jolt to NDA in Bihar, HAM-S chief and former CM Jitan Ram Manjhi quit the BJP- led alliance on Wednesday and announced to join RJD- led Grand Alliance.
Manjhi, who is the only MLA of his party in Bihar legislativeAssembly at present and no member of his party, is either in the Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha, cited his neglect in the NDA for parting ways with the alliance.
“I have come out of the NDA and would join Grand Alliance,” Manjhi told reporters after coming out of a close- door meeting with leader of opposition in legislative Assembly Tejashwi Prasad Yadav at the former’s residence in Patna in the morning.
“I was completely neglected in the NDA. First of all, the decisions taken by me as Bihar CM were never implemented. My request for getting seats for my party in upcoming bypolls and Rajya Sabha elections were also ignored. Consequently, there was a growing discontentment among workers in my party,” a statement released by Manjhi’s office stated.
With Manjhi gone, NDA in Bihar now has four constituents- BJP, JD (U), LJP and RLSP.
Welcoming Manjhi in GA, Tejashwi called him a “father- figure”. “Manjhi Ji is like a father and guardian to us. Allies are not shown respect in NDA but he (Manjhi) will get his due respect in GA,” Tejashwi said.
Sources claimed that Manjhi had put forth demand of two seats for his party in Bihar Legislative council, for which elections to a few seats are slated to be held later this year.
RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s wife and former Bihar CM Rabri Devi welcomed Manjhi and claimed that his demand for being sent to Rajya Sabha would also be considered. “Manjhi was getting no respect in NDA, hence he was feeling suffocated. Our and his ideologies match, hence he would get due respect in Mahagathbandhan (GA),” said Rabri.
Manjhi was lately showing signs of strains with respect to sharing of seats with other constituents of NDA. Manjhi had put his claims on Jehanabad assembly constituency in the upcoming bypolls but BJP later asked JD (U) to field its candidate.
Saying that minority communities are not being given justice by the current government, Majhi had also said recently that his party would need at least 50 seats in the upcoming Assembly elections to take important decision after forming the next government.
Manjhi was appointed CM of Bihar by JD (U) president and present chief minister Nitish Kumar on May 20, 2014 but he was later asked to step down ahead of 2015 Assembly elections and he resigned on February 20 in the same year.
Sources claimed that Manjhi’s dissatisfaction further aggravated when his party was given no representation in the new NDA government in Bihar formed in July, last year after Nitish came out of GA.
Following the oath- taking ceremony on July 27, Manjhi had said that though he is the only MLA from his party but his party should also be included in the cabinet like LJP’s chief Ram Vilas Paswan’s brother Pashupati Kumar Paras, who has been made the animal husbandry minister even though he is neither and MLA nor MLC.
Congress on the other hand, welcomed Manjhi. “Manjhi is most welcome in GA…Though he (Manjhi) took a late decision to come out of NDA where he was not getting due respect, but its right decision,” said Kaukab Quadri, acting president of Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee.
BJP functionary and state tourism minister Pramod Kumar on the other hand, said Manjhi’s ouster would have no adverse impact on the NDA.

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