Patna: With Assembly elections slated to be held in October-November this year in Bihar, former Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi-led Hindustani Awam Morcha – Secular (HAM-S) is likely to become a part of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) soon.
As per sources, Manjhi is expected to formally announce the development Sunday.
Manjhi-led Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) quit the Grand Alliance (Mahagathbandhan) August 20. Since then, there was speculation that he might merge his party with Janta Dal-United (JD-U). Manjhi also met Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar Thursday.
Sources further said Manjhi also looked for a tie-up with the ‘third front’. He has also met leaders of other political parties like Pappu Yadav of Jan Adhikaar Party (JAP) and Mukesh Sahani-led Vikassheel Insan Party (VIP) but apparently the existence of the third front seems to be very difficult in the current scenario.
A party insider believes that HAM will bag 9 to 12 seats as an alliance partner out of 243 seats in Bihar Assembly polls.
On the other hand, top leaders of BJP and JD-U are eyeing Dalit vote bank through Manjhi in Bihar as they believe that he could be an asset to them, sources added.
Bihar has a total of 7,21,40,945 electoral voters.
Among them, 15 per cent voters belong to Dalit and Mahadalit community, 17 per cent Muslims, 50 per cent OBC, 19 per cent upper castes (General), and 2 per cent Adiwasi.
Besides Manjhi, Ram Vilas Paswan and other leaders also represent Dalit and Mahadalit communities in Bihar.
Currently, the NDA has three main political parties — JDU, BJP, and LJP.