Jitan Ram Manjhi
Patna, Mar 17 (PTI) Former Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram
Manjhi on Tuesday charged the RJD with trying to impose its
will on coalition partners and sought to remind Lalu Prasads
party that it was not capable of taking on the BJP-led
coalition in the state assembly polls on its own steam.
Manjhi, who heads the Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) and has
been with the RJD-led Grand Alliance since March, 2018 when he
walked out of the NDA,iterated his demand for a "coordination
committee" comprising representatives of all five coalition
members which could take a decision on issues like leadership
and inclusion of more parties in the formation.
He, however, made it clear that his stance must not be
seen as his having a problem with Tejashwi Yadav, whom the RJD
has declared its Chief Ministerial candidate.
"I have no problems with Tejashwi. Some Congress leaders
have spoken in favour of making former Lok Sabha Speaker Meira
Kumar the face. I have no problems with that either. My point
is, the decision must be taken after a consensus among all
coalition partners", Manjhi said here.
The HAM president was speaking a day after RLSP chief
Upendra Kushwaha and VIP founder Mukesh Sahni called on him at
his residence here, triggering speculations that the minor
partners in the Grand Alliance might be weighing their
"I do not have a quarrel with the RJD asserting its
position as a major coalition partner. In fact, I have been
proposing that let the RJD have two of its members in the
coordination committee and the other four constituents have
one each. But coordination committee is we must have,he said.
He also took exception to a recent statement by RJD state
unit chief Jagadanand Singh who had turned down the demands
for a coordination committee with the brusque remark, "Lalu
Prasad is the all in all in Grand Alliance. Those not agreeing
with his commands are free to leave".
"This smacks of arrogance, of an attitude of taking ones
support base for granted, Manjhi said and pointed out "the
RJD should remember the poll outcome of 2010, when its
Muslim-Yadav combination was intact and it enjoyed the support
of Ram Vilas Paswans Lok Janshakti Party".
The RJD-LJP combine which had fought separately from the
Congress - was trounced in the assembly polls, winning less
than 30 seats in the 243-strong assembly. LJP sided with NDA
in 2014 and has been performing spectacularly in Lok Sabha
The RJDs own stock rose dramtically in 2015 when it
contested in alliance with Congress and JD(U), headed by Chief
Minister Nitish Kumars JD(U). With 80 seats, the RJD emerged
as the single largest party in the assembly and shared power
until Kumar bolted out of the alliance in 2017.
Manjhi also said "I am of the view that Left parties and
emerging forces like Pappu Yadav should also be included in
Grand Alliance. This possibility can be explored only by a
"If most are in disagreement, I will give up. But one
party cannot decide what should or should not happen in the
coalition, Manjhi added.
Yadav, a muscleman-turned-politician who has floated his
own outfit Jan Adhikar Party, has been a bitter critic of
Tejashwi Yadav. Besides, the younger son of Lalu Prasad is
also known to be averse to CPI rising star Kanhaiya Kumar.
"In view of the unhelpful attitude of the RJDs middle-
rung leadership, I have sought an appointment with Lalu Prasad
(in Ranchi, serving sentences in fodder scam cases)", Manjhi
"If things do not materialize by the end of this month, we
will have to think of our own course of action since smaller
parties like us cannot afford to put preparations on hold when
elections are just half a year away, said the volatile leader
who has in the past one year given many an ultimatum to the
RJD. PTI NAC
Disclaimer :- This story has not been edited by Outlook staff and is auto-generated from news agency feeds. Source: PTI
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