Jitan Ram Manjhi quits NDA to joins Grand Alliance

Recently, the former chief minister had expressed a wish that his party be allowed to contest the by-poll from the Jehanabad Assembly seat, but withdrew the demand following an alleged cold response from the BJP. Manjhi said,"Our workers will campaign for the candidates of the Alliance in this bypolls".Manjhi addressed the media by saying that "for more than a year and a half, my party and I have worked tirelessly for increasing the NDA in Bihar".

Former Bihar Chief Minister and Hindustani Awam Morcha head Jitan Ram Manjhi today quit the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) to join Bihar's "mahagathbandhan".

"Though RJD chief Lalu Prasad has been in jail, we are here to expand his ideology of social justice. A formal announcement to this effect will be made later tonight (Wednesday) when the reasons for this major decision will also be made public", Manjhi told reporters.

The move has been on the cards ever since the JD (U) and the BJP came back together and formed a new alliance government in Bihar previous year.

Manjhi formed HAM thereafter, and joined hands with Nitish's estranged ally BJP.

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Manjhi said his party will join the Rashtriya Janata Dal-led grand alliance, The Hindu reported.

He made the announcement after the leader of opposition Tejashwi Prasad Yadav and eldest son of Lalu Prasad and former health minister Tejpratap Yadav called on him at his Strand road residence here this morning. "We welcome him to the grand alliance".

To maximise this advantage, there is talk within the RJD's first family to send Manjhi to the Rajya Sabha.

The development is significance in the wake of the upcoming bypolls for Araria Lok Sabha and Bhabhua and Jehanabad Vidhan Sabha seats on March 11.

The RJD with 79 MLAs in the Assembly can send two persons to the Rajya Sabha while the Congress with its 27 MLAs and RJD's eight spare votes can send another.

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