PATNA: Former Bihar Chief Minister and founder of the Hindustan Awam Morcha (Secular) Jitan Ram Manjhi on Friday said the next CM of the state should be either from the scheduled caste or minority communities.
He said that justice can be provided to the downtrodden only through this as it would promote their empowerment and equal participation in politics for prosperity.
Speaking to the media after conducting a meeting of party leaders, Manjhi also claimed that the HAM (S) has a strong electoral base in 80 assembly constituencies out of 243 in Bihar.
"We have established a foothold in more than 80 assembly segments in Bihar and our party is in a position to either win these seats or help others to win," Manjhi claimed. He said the HAM (S) has started preparing in all these constituencies at the booth level. "We will organise a sammelan in each of these constituencies from February 2020," he said.
Furthermore, he indicated that the HAM (S) will be contesting not less than 50 seats under the Mahagatvandhan (grand alliance) because of a strong party base in those constituencies.
He said if the grand alliance comes to power this year in the state, he would suggest having two deputy chief ministers including one woman either from the SC or minority communities.
"It would be my party ideology to make a woman from one of these two communities as deputy CM and the rest would be decided collectively at a meeting with all leaders of the grand alliance," he said.
On being asked why he supports Tejashawi Yadav as the CM face of the grand alliance, Manjhi said, "I have always been appreciating Tejashawi Yadav but who will be the CM face will be decided by leaders of all parties. Right now, I can't comment anything more than that," he said.
At present, the HAM has only one MLA while the RJD has 81 MLAs in the Bihar assembly.
The HAM in 2015 had contested 21 assembly seats, registering victory in a single seat -- Makhadumpur in Gaya -- under the national democratic alliance (NDA) from which he later switched over to the grand alliance. Manjhi himself managed to win the Makhadumpur seat while all other party candidates were defeated.
On the other hand, in the NDA, the Hajipur MP Pashupati Kumar Paras also said that his party, the LJP, would be contesting not less than 43 seats in Bihar under the NDA.
After a meeting with party leaders on Friday, he said the LJP has started poll preparations keeping in mind the party's strong base in 119 seats.
He told the media that NDA leaders will decide the seat-sharing well ahead of the polls.