Patna: Mahadalit leader and former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi quit the NDA alliance and declared his support to the RJD-Congress Alliance. Meanwhile, four Congress MLCs (legislative council members) , including former state Congress chief Ashok Choudhary, joined the Nitish Kumar led JDU, which is part of the NDA alliance.
Jitan manjhi, the Hindustani Awam Morcha Secular (HAMS) leader announced his switch after a 45-minute meeting with RJD chief Lalu Prasad’s sons Tejashwi Prasad Yadav and Tej Pratap Yadav at his 12 M Strand Road residence. “I’ve quit the NDA and will join the Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance),” Manjhi told reporters after the meeting.
“Manjhi is a big leader of Bihar and his tenure as CM was praiseworthy; he worked for the downtrodden,” Tejashwi said. “Manjhi ji had old ties with Laluji and our party and he has been continuously fighting against the present situation the country is passing through. I’m happy he is part of the Grand Alliance.”
A local paper quotes HAMS sources who claimed Manjhi has demanded his son, Santosh Manjhi, and HAMS state unit president Brishen Patel be made MLCs.
Asked what Manjhi would get in return, Tejashwi said: “Manjhi ji is my guardian and I’m like his son. You don’t worry about him.” He mocked the NDA, saying that the BJP’s claim of no split in the alliance had been proved hollow.
“There will be no impact of Manjhi quitting the NDA,” said senior BJP leader and tourism minister Pramod Kumar.
On the other hand, the ruling NDA on Wednesday snatched four MLCs, including former state Congress chief and education minister Ashok Choudhary, from the Congress. The three other MLCs are Dilip Kumar Chaudhary, Ramchandra Bharti and Tanwir Akhtar. They announced that they will be joining the JDU led by chief minister Nitish Kumar.