Former Bihar chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi quits NDA; Tejashwi Yadav says RJD 'welcomes' him
Former Bihar chief minister and Hindustani Awam Morcha chief Jitan Ram Manjhi has quit the National Democratic Alliance (NDA)
Former Bihar chief minister and Hindustani Awam Morcha chief Jitan Ram Manjhi has quit the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), according to media reports.
— ANI (@ANI) February 28, 2018
This came minutes after reports of a meeting between Manjhi and former Bihar chief minister Rabri Devi surfaced. Devi is also the wife of Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Lalu Prasad Yadav.
Lalu's son Tejashwi Yadav addressed the media on Wednesday along with Manjhi and said, "He has been an old friend to my parents; we welcome him," ANI reported.
On Sunday, Manjhi had demanded that his party be allotted one Rajya Sabha seat in the upcoming elections, failing which the party would not support the BJP-led coalition in the next one Lok Sabha and two Assembly bypolls.
"The NDA must announce at least one Hindustani Awam Morcha leader among its candidates for the six Rajya Sabha seats in Bihar. If that does not happen, our party workers will not campaign for candidates of the coalition in the bypolls", Manjhi said.
The Rajya Sabha election is slated for 23 March. The bypolls for Araria Lok Sabha seat and Jahanabad and Bhabhua Assembly seats are scheduled to be held on 11 March.
Manjhi said that "for more than a year and a half, I and my party have been working tirelessly for strengthening the NDA in Bihar. But as the saying goes, even a mother does not feed her child until he or she cries and demands attention."
With inputs from PTI
Even as the game of one-upmanship between Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad continues to keep the united Janata Parivar a now on-now off affair in Bihar, former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi has emerged as a crucial player in the electoral calculations of all parties.
BJP on Thursday dubbed the coming together of JD(U) and RJD as an alliance of "defeated people" and asked Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to reveal the "compromise" behind Janta Parivar merger turning into a coalition.
Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) President Jitan Ram Manjhi alleged on Thursday that Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar did not sack his deputy, Tejashwi Yadav, the son of RJD supremo Lalu Prasad, to save his chair.