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Ex Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi Scraps Rumour

By Preeti Sigh On 08 Feb, 2019

Hindustani Awam Morcha (secular) president Jitan Ram Manjhi on Friday scotched rumour of his quitting mahagathbandhan and returning to the NDA and termed such unverified reports as a "conspiracy" to malign his and his party image. He made it clear that he is with RJD chief Lalu Prasad and the Grand Alliance in Bihar, also comprising Congress and the RLSP. Mr Manjhi's criticism of dharna by West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee against the CBI action against Kolkata police commissioner Rajeev Kumar early this week had triggered speculation if he was ending his innings in the mahagathbandhan and going back to the NDA. "There is no truth in it (rumour about his joining NDA). Disinformation is being spread as part of a conspiracy to malign my and my party image, Mr Manjhi said. Mr Manjhi, who was made chief minister by Nitish Kumar in 2014 later fell out with his mentor and formed his party HAM. HAM joined hands with the BJP in 2015 Bihar polls but with Nitish Kumar joining hands with the BJP, Mr Manjhi left the NDA to join hands with Lalu Prasad last year. Mr Manjhi said seat sharing issue in the opposition coalition will be finalized in consultation with all the constituents of the Grand Alliance. In reply to a query, Mr Manjhi said that Prime Minister and Chief Minister of any state should not hold or participate in dharna or demonstration. "Mamata Banerjee did wrong by holding dharna as it can't be justified in any manner," he reiterated. While replying to a query on his party's state unit chief Brishen Patel resigning from the post over alleged charge of misappropriation of party fund, Mr Manjhi claimed Patel had swindled Rs. 10 lakh from the party fund. Both Mr Patel and party spokesman Danish Rizwan had resigned from their respective posts on Wednesday. Mr Rizwan had alleged that Mr Patel along with his supporters indulged in anti-party activities and have also been indulged looting party fund. Mr Manjhi said that new state unit chief and other prominent posts, which are currently lying vacant, will be filled within a week.

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