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Jitan Ram Manjhi-led HAM Threatens to Boycott Lok Sabha Polls if Adequate Seats Not Given


New Delhi: Just days after the BJP settled the seats issue in Bihar with the JD(U) and the LJP, the opposition grand alliance in the state now faces the same predicament with Hindustani Awam Morcha on Wednesday threatening to boycott the Lok Sabha polls scheduled next year if it did not get a sizeable number of seats.

Vrishan Patel, state president of HAM founded and headed by former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, said this in response to queries about seat-sharing arrangements in the Mahagathbandhan.

“Every party has the right to make the best possible bargain for itself as far as we are concerned, we are standing on the road. Those living in proper houses should make a proper assessment or else they may end up on the road as well,” Patel told reporters.

Sharing of seats is yet to be announced for the Grand Alliance which now comprises at least six constituents: Congress, RJD, HAM, former Union minister Upendra Kushwaha’s RLSP, veteran socialist leader Sharad Yadav’s LJD and a fledgling outfit VIP, floated two months ago by Bollywood set designer-turned-politician Mukesh Sahni.
In view of an electoral understanding with the Left parties also on the cards, sharing of seats among constituents of the grand alliance is going to be a tricky issue. The alliance received a boost when RLSP chief and former union minister Upendra Kushwaha joined them.

Notably, Manjhi had caused a flutter a few months ago by claiming that his party was in a position to put up a fine performance in 20 Lok Sabha seats in the state which has a total of 40 constituencies.

He had, however, later clarified that he was not insisting on as many seats and that in places where it had a good presence it would help its alliance partners in achieving a victory.

The party came into being after Manjhi had to step down as chief minister to facilitate return of Nitish Kumar and he walked out of the JD(U), along with his supporters, in protest. His party fought the assembly polls as an NDA constituent with Manjhi emerging as the sole candidate to achieve victory.

Manjhi quit the BJP-led coalition in February this year and joined the truncated Grand Alliance, which was left with only the RJD and the Congress.

The RJD, which has the highest number of MLAs at present, helped Manjhi’s son Santosh Manjhi get a seat in the legislative council.

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