Former Bihar chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi on Saturday asked BJP to spare 60 seats for his newly floated Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) in the state Assembly polls, scheduled to be held in September/October.
According to sources, Manjhi has told the BJP leadership that his party will contest on 60 seats in the elections, dates for which are yet to be announced, and also set a deadline till June 15 to make its stand clear on the seat sharing issue.
Manjhi had recently met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi giving rise to speculations about an alliance between the BJP and Manjhi’s party. However, BJP president Amit Shah had then refused to divulge details about the meeting. Manjhi too had rejected reports of him joining the BJP.
Meanwhile, sources said that Manjhi called RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav on Friday morning. Both the leaders are tightlipped about what they discussed on the phone call.
On the other hand, uncertainty looms large over the much talked about alliance between Janata Dal-United (JD-U) and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD). Sources said that both Nitish Kumarand Lalu Prasad would be reaching Delhi later on Friday to hold an important meeting.
JD-U president Sharad Yadav had earlier insisted that both the parties will fight the Bihar Assembly polls together in alliance with Congress to challenge a resurgent BJP.
“The unity is bound to happen as it is the need of the hour. The nation needs it. All of us will contest election together. Congress, JD-U, RJD, NCP and others will fight together,” Yadav said.
If Manjhi can, why can’t I be the CM: Abdul Bari Siddiqui
Meanwhile, senior RJD leader Abdul Bari Siddiqui has also thrown in his hat in the debate over selecting a CM candidate if JD-U and RJD decide to go together in the polls.
Siddiqui pointed out that while he is not so hopeful of a merger of RJD and JD-U, the two parties should form an alliance to fight against the BJP.
“I don’t think merger is possible so the alliance should be made. Without the alliance it would be difficult to defeat the BJP,” Siddiqui said, adding, “If there will be an alliance then definitely there will be a leader of it. No one thought that Manjhi ji will become the CM but it happened.