Bihar Mahagathbandhan: Jitan Ram Manjhi-led HAM says it will boycott LS polls if not given 'sizeable' number of seats

Patna: A constituent of the opposition Grand Alliance in Bihar, Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) on Wednesday threatened to boycott the Lok Sabha polls next year if it did not get a sizeable number of seats.

Vrishan Patel, state president of HAM founded and headed by former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, said this in response to queries about seat-sharing arrangements in the Mahagathbandhan.

 Bihar Mahagathbandhan: Jitan Ram Manjhi-led HAM says it will boycott LS polls if not given sizeable number of seats

File image of HAM founder Jitan Ram Manjhi. Twitter@@ManjhiHAM

Every party has the right to make the best possible bargain for itself as far as we are concerned, we are standing on the road. Those living in proper houses should make a proper assessment or else they may end up on the road as well, Patel himself a former minister told reporters.

The Hindustani Awam Morcha has made it clear that if it is not given a sizeable number of seats, it will not take part in the elections, he said when asked about how many seats the party wanted to contest.

Notably, Manjhi had caused a flutter a few months ago by claiming that his party was in a position to put up a fine performance in 20 Lok Sabha seats in the state which has a total of 40 constituencies.

He had, however, later clarified that he was not insisting on as many seats and that in places where it had a good presence it would help its alliance partners in achieving a victory.

The party came into being after Manjhi had to step down as chief minister to facilitate the return of Nitish Kumar and he walked out of the JD(U), along with his supporters, in protest. His party fought the Assembly polls as an NDA constituent with Manjhi emerging as the sole candidate to achieve victory.

Kumar, who returned to power as the chief ministerial candidate of the Grand Alliance, walked out last year and returned to the NDA. Manjhi quit the BJP-led coalition in February this year and joined the truncated Grand Alliance which was left with only the RJD and the Congress.

The RJD, which has the highest number of MLAs at present, helped Manjhis son Santosh Manjhi get a seat in the legislative council.

Sharing of seats is yet to be announced for the Grand Alliance which now comprises at least six constituents Congress, RJD, HAM, former Union minister Upendra Kushwahas RLSP, veteran socialist leader Sharad Yadavs LJD and a fledgling outfit VIP floated two months ago by Bollywood set designer-turned-politician Mukesh Sahni.

In view of an electoral understanding with the Left parties also on the cards, sharing of seats among constituents of the bloated, loosely knit Grand Alliance is going to be a tricky issue.

Updated Date: Dec 26, 2018 19:13:04 IST