Former Bihar chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi's Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) on Wednesday severed its ties with the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and decided to join the Congress-Rashtyriya Janata Dal Mahagathbandhan in the state. Manjhi will make the formal announcement of his decision to ally with the Congress-RJD group at 10 am on Thursday in Patna.
Manjhi met RJD leader and former Bihar deputy chief minister Tejashwi Yadav in Patna on Wednesday and told him that the HAM will ally with the Mahagathbandhan in Bihar. RJD founder Lalu Prasad's close aide Bhola Yadav and his elder son Tej Pratap Yadav, too, were present in the meeting.
A few weeks back senior RJD leader Raghuvansh Prasad Singh had claimed that even Manhji is willing to dump the NDA and ally with the RJD. Manjhi had demanded that his party should get at least one Rajya Sabha seat from Bihar which was not accepted by the BJP following which he decided to leave the NDA. Six Rajya Sabha seats are vacant in Bihar and Manjhi had threatened that if his party is not considered for the election then he would not support the NDA in the Araria Lok Sabha, and Jahanabad and Bhabhua Assembly bypolls scheduled on March 11.
Manjhi had broken away from the Janata Dal United in March 2015 and formed HAM after he was expelled from the party by Nitish Kumar and forced to resign from the post of chief minister. He had then announced that his aim was to "expose Nitish Kumar and the JD(U)".
But once Nitish Kumar came back to the NDA fold in April 2017, Manjhi's continuance in the same group had become untenable.