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Grand Alliance seems to be under strain ahead of by-elections in Bihar

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Times Now
23rd September, 2019 17:51 IST

Patna: Even though the Grand Alliance is yet to decide seat allotment for the by-polls on five Assembly segments and Samastipur Lok Sabha constituency, Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) president Jitan Ram Manjhi Monday said they would contest Nathdwara vidhan sabha seat in Bhagalpur under all circumstances.

Manjhi, who had recently threatened to pull out of the five-party formation, said his party would field its candidate "har haalat mein" (under all circumstances) from the Nathdwara assembly seat in Bhagalpur district which has fallen vacant upon the sitting JD(U) MLA Ajay Mandals election to the Lok Sabha.

"After five assembly segments fell vacant in the state, we had initially wished to contest Kishanganj and Nathdwara. I had even spoken about this to Tejashwi Yadav (RJD heir apparent).

"However, taking into consideration the fact that Kishanganj was a sitting seat of the Congress our alliance partner we have forgone our claim on the same", Manjhi told reporters.

"But, we will contest Nathdwara. Har haalat mein ladenge. We have conveyed this to our alliance partners and reiterate our stand when coalition partners sit together later this week to decide respective candidates for the poll-bound seats.

"In the meantime, we are undertaking a massive public outreach programme in Nathdwara, which we are confident of winning", he added.

The Grand Alliance which had come into being after Chief Minister Nitish Kumars JD(U) tied up with the RJD- Congress combine in 2015 now comprises RJD, Congress and HAM besides former Union minister Upendra Kushwahas RLSP and Bollywood set designer turned politician Mukesh Sahnis VIP.

Kumar returned to the NDA in July, 2017, about six months before Manjhi quit the BJP-led coalition and switched over. Kushwaha followed suit 10 months later.

Manjhis latest outbursts come less than two months after he had accused the Grand Alliance of having underestimated his party, just like the NDA did, and threatened to go it alone in the assembly polls due next year.

Grand Alliance sources, however, insisted that things would be amicably resolved when the alliance partners sit together to discuss the forthcoming by-elections.

Besides Nathdwara and Kishanganj fallen vacant as a result of MLA Mohammed Jaweds election to the Lok Sabha by- elections are scheduled in Simaria Bakhtiyarpur, Daraunda and Belhar assembly segments and the Samastipur parliamentary constituency.

Samastipur (reserved) Lok Sabha seat was won by Ram Chandra Paswan of LJP, founding president Ram Vilas Paswans younger brother, who passed away a few months after retaining the seat for the second consecutive term.

Simaria Bakhtiyarpur, Darauanda and Belhar were held by Dinesh Chandra Yadav, Kavita Singh and Giridhari Yadav respectively all of them of the JD(U).

Dinesh Chandra Yadav became the MP from Madhepura, Kavita Singh from Siwan and Giridhari Yadav from Banka.

Seemingly disoriented by the drubbing in Lok Sabha polls, in which it lost 39 out of 40 seats and trailed in all but 18 out of 243 assembly segments, the Grand Alliance faces the challenge of achieving a semblance of redemption in the upcoming by-polls when it once again takes on the formidable NDA - which has been on a roll.

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