PATNA: Former Bihar chief minister and Hindustan Awam Morcha (HAM) leader Jitan Ram Manjhi is using his personal equity with top leaders of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and trying that the party contest on 10 seats in the forthcoming assembly elections in Bihar.
Manjhi broke away from the Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance) on August 20 following a rift with the Rastriya Janata Dal 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.
Danish Rizwan, the official spokesperson of the HAM, has confirmed the development. The party will officially join the NDA on September 3, added Rizwan.
"We were one of the partners of the grand alliance but the political formation was dominated entirely by Tejasvi Yadav and his family. They did not pay any attention to our aspirations. Our leader was left with no option but to move out of the alliance to keep his self-respect intact," Rizwan said.
"We have a good understanding with Nitish Kumar and we are looking forward to the the elections in a bid to defeat the grand alliance," Rizwan said.
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. Manjhi commands a strong performance in the Gaya district in Bihar's Magadh region.