Manjhi heads to Delhi to seek 'handpump' symbol for HAM

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Patna, Jun 11: With politics hotting up in Bihar in view of coming Assembly elections, former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi on Thursday left for New Delhi to seek symbol for his newly floated "Hindustani Awam Party" (HAM) and could also meet BJP leaders over tie-up.

"I am going to Delhi for work in Election Commission," Manjhi told reporters at the Patna Airport. [Bihar assembly elections 2015: Will foes turned friends be able to corner BJP?]

manjhi

Asked if he would meet BJP leaders for tie-up in the coming poll, Manjhi did not give any categorical answer.

BJP has been talking to NDA allies over Bihar poll and Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) chief and Union minister Upendra Kushwaha had a meeting with Amit Shah in Delhi today.

Asked that BJP has offered him only handful of seats and this was the reason his tie-up with the NDA has not materialised so far, Manjhi avoided a direct reply and said "you fellows seem to know more than me."

Manjhi, who has turned a detractor of his mentor and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, said "HAM is preparing to field candidates on all 243 seats in Bihar."

HAM spokesman Danish Rizwan said Manjhi has gone to national capital to meet EC and claim "handpump" symbol for his new party.

Asked if Manjhi meeting has been scheduled either with Prime Minister Narendra Modi or other BJP leaders, Rizwan said there was no scheduled meeting but meeting and talks with leaders of other parties could happen.

With RJD President Lalu Prasad who was initially insisting on inclusion of Manjhi in broad secular front accepting Nitish Kumar as CM candidate of the anti-BJP grouping, doors have been shut for Manjhi and he has been left with the option either to go with BJP-led NDA or enter into fray alone.

Manjhi, who has emerged as a prominent dalit face in the Bihar poll, had three meetings with Prime Minister Narendra Modi indicating that he was inching closer to the saffron party.

BJP chief Amit Shah and other party leaders have time and again said their options are open for Bihar election hinting contact with Manjhi who could help them reach out to dalits constituting about 22 per cent of the population in the state.

PTI

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