Fissure comes to fore in Bihar NDA

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Patna, Apr 1: Apparently all is not well in the NDA camp in Bihar with former Chief Minister and HAM(S) president Jitan Ram Manjhi charging the BJP with not giving due attention to alliance partners LJP, RLSP and and his party.

He also threatened that the three parties may merge to chart out their own political agenda in Bihar and outside.


"We are very much part of NDA but there is no proper coordination among alliance partners. If BJP does not give due attention to us, we may think of coming under one flag. We reckon BJP as our big brother but they are not giving us attention that we deserve," said Manjhi, the president of Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular).

Manjhi, however, said he did not have any talk on the 'merger' plan with Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan led LJP, Union minister of state Upendra Kushwaha's RLSP and HAM(S), the party he formed last year after quitting JD(U).

"We just had a discussion that we should jointly work for people's cause. We (three parties) will jointly oppose and expose the government on crime especially deteriorating law and order," Manjhi said.

He said the leadership of the new party, if formed, will not be an issue as any of the three leaders could lead it. Manjhi said he had a discussion with BSP leaders and may meet party chief Mayawati too.

"We will cobble against Akhilesh Yadav to prevent him from returning to office again," the HAM(S) leader said. Reacting to Manjhi's comments, senior Bihar BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi said, "It is good that they will be one from three. It would help us in dealing with them."

But he was quick to add, "We will sit together and try to resolve their grievances, if any." Deputy Chief Minister and RJD leader Tejashwi Prasad Yadav said that BJP is adopting a 'use and throw' policy'.

"BJP first used the three parties but now no attention is given to them as they are not required now," he said. LJP, RLSP and HAM(S) had a meeting on March 28 to discuss the issue of merger or having a separate alliance to consolidate their position among dalits and backward community in the state, HAM(S) leaders said.

The move would help them in trying their luck in Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections due next year. While RLSP and LJP have two MLAs each, Manjhi is the lone HAM(S) member in the 243-member Bihar assembly.

Fighting as NDA constituents, LJP got 4.8 per cent of votes, while RLSP and HAM(S) fetched 2.6 per cent and 2.3 per cent respectively in the 2015 Assembly polls. Individually, their position may not look so firm but jointly fetched around 10 per cent of the votes polled.


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