The Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular), which is led by former Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi, on Thursday quit the Grand Alliance ahead of the Assembly election in the state, PTI reported.
The alliance, also called a “Mahagathbandhan”, comprises Rashtriya Janata Dal, Congress, Rashtriya Lok Samata Party and Vikassheel Insan Party, which is led by Bollywood set designer Mukesh Sahni.
The party will be joining the National Democratic Alliance, according to The Hindustan Times. “The party’s executive committee has authorised Manjhi ji to take a call on the future course of action,” Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) spokesperson Danish Rizwan said.
Unidentified party members told the newspaper that Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) may either merge with Chief Minister Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal (United) or enter into an alliance with it for contesting the state Assembly election.
The party blamed the Rashtriya Janata Dal for not forming a coordination committee so that the alliance can function in a better manner. “Our leader Jitan Ram Manjhi ji has categorically stated that there is no point in continuing with the alliance which does not follow democratic norms and listens to its partners,” Rizwan said.
He added that Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had said the committee would be formed within a week, but it did not happen. The party had given June 25 as the deadline to form the coordination committee so that talks on seat-sharing can begin.
Rashtriya Lok Samata Party chief Upendra Kushwaha and Sahni’s party supported the call to form the committee, the spokesperson said.
Manjhi, who was earlier with the Janata Dal (United), had quit the party in 2015 after he was forced to step down as the chief minister for Nitish Kumar to take over. He then formed the Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) and joined the National Democratic Alliance. After Kumar returned to the NDA in July 2017, Manjhi split and joined the Grand Alliance.