Former chief minister and Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) chief Jitan Ram Manjhi may soon announce his return to the NDA and is likely to issue a formal statement on his next political move after August 20.
Manjhi, who had long been asking the RJD to form a coordination committee to discuss seat-sharing among Grand Alliance partners, was upset over his demands not being met. “Manjhi also explored chances of an alliance with AIMIM and finally reconciled to return to NDA via JD(U) channel,” said a source close to Manjhi.
The HAM(S) may either merge with the JD(U) or have an alliance with the party in the Bihar Assembly polls.
A JD(U) leader said, “It is not clear yet if Manjhi would merge his party with us or align with us. But his return would surely boost the party.”
Sources said JD(U) had been asking Manjhi to merge his party with it to accommodate a few candidates of his choice. HAM(S) has reportedly been asking for 10-12 seats from the JD(U). HAM (S) spokesperson Danish Rizwan told The Indian Express, “At this point of time, I can not say anything. But anything is possible in politics. Let us wait for August 20.”
Manjhi had fallen out with Nitish Kumar after he was made to quit the CM post in early 2015. He walked out of the NDA after a poor show in the 2015 Assembly polls. His party had a similar performance after joining the Grand Alliance, losing all the three seats it contested — Gaya, Aurangabad and Nalanda — in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.