PATNA: A day after sealing an electoral pact with the ruling JD-U, the Hindustani Awam Morcha warned the Lok Janshakti Party, an NDA ally, not to field candidates against Bihar CM Nitish Kumar or his party.
HAM’s national president Jitan Ram Manjhi on Friday said his party would put up candidates against the LJP if it decided to contest seats of JD-U candidates in the Assembly polls due later this year.
LJP chief Chirag Paswan has called a meeting of its parliamentary board in Delhi on September 7 to discuss the party strategy following HAM’s entry. NDA sources acknowledge Paswan’s discomfort with HAM as also some wrinkles in ties between LJP and the JD-U.
The LJP on Friday left its allies behind by putting up a huge ad in all major newspapers with a slogan ‘Come, create new Bihar, a young Bihar’. The tagline of LJP’s ad runs like this: “Woh lar rahe hai ham per raj karne ke liye, aur ham lar rahe hai Bihar per naaz karne ke liye (they are fighting to rule over us, but we are fighting to make Bihar proud).” The LJP has two MLAs in the 243-member Bihar assembly.
Its vote bank primarily lies with pro-reservationists and backward castes. With Manjhi, who projects himself as the leader of the most backward castes, joining the NDA, the LJP may have a natural fear of losing the same vote bank.
Speaking to a local news channel, Manjhi turned more vocal against the LJP. “The LJP should not go against JD-U,” he seemed to warn.“Ram Vilas Paswan (Chirag’s father and Union Minister) has done nothing for Dalits. I do not wish to contest the polls this time, but will do whatever Nitish Kumar wants,” he said.