April 17, 2024

The Bihar

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Bihar polls: Jitan Ram Manjhi meets BJP chief Amit Shah, fuels speculation of alliance

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Jitan Ram Manjhi meets BJP chief Amit ShahtbNew Delhi: Former Bihar chief minister and leader of Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) Jitan Ram Manjhi met Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah in the capital on Thursday fuelling rumours of an alliance ahead of the state Assembly polls.

Sources said that Manjhi is willing to join the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) provided his demand of 50 tickets to Assembly seats is met.

But the BJP may prefer giving only 30 seats to Manjhi’s HAM.

Meanwhile, rumours are also rife that Madhepura MP and expelled RJD leader Rajesh Ranjan alias Pappu Yadav too may seek alliance with the BJP.

The saffron party has been holding talks with other NDA allies over Bihar polls and Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP) chief and Union minister Upendra Kushwaha also met Amit Shah in Delhi today.

Manjhi, who has turned a detractor of his mentor and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, had earlier told scribes that “HAM is preparing to field candidates on all 243 seats in Bihar.”

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

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.

Courtesy: Zee Media Bureau

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