In the post-poll development in Bihar, Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular)(HAM - S) chief Jitan Ram Manjhi was on Thursday elected the leader of its four-member legislature party but he said that he will not become a minister in the new government headed by Nitish Kumar. Manjhi has also made an offer to Congress and RJD leaders in the state, and have urged them to join Nitish's development agenda. Moreover, HAM (S) spokesperson said that they are getting calls from "other parties" but they will stick with the NDA.
This comes after sources confirmed that RJD has reached out to Manjhi and VIP's Mukesh Sahni and has offered the Deputy CM post to the latter. HAM(S) Spokesperson Dinesh Rizwan has said, "We are getting calls from other parties to join them in their alliance, but as our party leader Jitan Ram Manjhi has clarified, I am also reiterating that we will not leave the NDA and be with Nitish Kumar as we contested and won the elections with him."
On Thursday evening, after meeting the four newly-elected MLAs of his party, Manjhi appealed to the MLAs of Congress and RJD to join NDA, creating a major controversy in the post-poll political scene in the state.
"Nitish Kumar's development plans are much different from those of Congress. Moreover, he has kept away from many issues that are not in the interest of the state. So, you can join us in the NDA and contribute to the development of the state," Manjhi said.
Even as the NDA alliance has won the Bihar elections with a clear majority, sources have said that RJD has not given up hopes to form the government in the state and has reportedly reached out to smaller parties. While the Mahagathbandhan leaders are meeting at Rabri Devi's residence currently, sources said that RJD has invited Mukesh Sahni to rejoin the grand alliance and offered the post of Deputy CM to the chief of Vikasheel Insan Party (VIP), which won 4 seats in the state. The RJD is also said to have approached Jitan Ram Manjhi who left the grand alliance before elections over the seat-sharing issue. Manjhi's HAM has also won 4 seats.
As per numbers, the Mahagathbandhan needs 12 legislators to form the government in Bihar. Previously, as the mandate went against the RJD, hushed talks in capital Patna suggested that Tejashwi's party is trying to approach Asaduddin Owaisi - whose AIMIM won 5 seats, making major inroads. However, the chances of AIMIM supporting an alliance consisting of Congress seems unlikely as Owaisi has in his post-poll statements attacked the grand-old party for calling him a "vote-cutter" and questioned their ideological leanings and silence on issues like CAA.
When asked about the offers to Tejashwi, he said that the election this year was about change and it is for the other parties to decide if they want a change in the state. He did not rule out that RJD is trying to make a deal with smaller parties.
The Bihar assembly elections results were declared around midnight on November 10-November 11, with the ruling coalition - NDA winning 125 in the 243-member assembly, against Mahagathbandhan's 110. Even as the contest remained neck and neck throughout the day, RJD under the leadership of Tejashwi Yadav, became the single largest party with 75 seats, followed by BJP's 74. While Chirag Paswan's LJP won one seat, it made a major dent in JDU's tally that has come down to 43 from 71 in 2015. The biggest clincher is Asaduddin Owaisi's AIMIM winning 5 seats and CPI-ML winning 12 seats. The other two left parties - CPI and CPI-M won two each. The other two alliance partners of NDA - HAM and Vikassheel Insaan Party (VIP) won four seats each.