Former Bihar Chief Minister and Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) leader Jitan Ram Manjhi on Wednesday said that they will remain in the grand alliance even if no seat is offered to them.
"We will remain in Mahagathbandhan even if no seat is given to us, but if talks are held on seat-sharing we will only agree if we are offered a similar number of seats as other allies of Mahagathbandhan like Upendra Kushwaha's Rashtriya Lok Samta Party," he told news agency ANI.
Mr Manjhi said that joining National Democratic Alliance (NDA) is not in consideration for his party. "We have said it earlier also, we are a part of the grand alliance and will stay a part of it. We came to help Lalu ji when nobody did. We are no less than anyone; our contribution is more in the grand alliance. There is no question of us joining the NDA."
He also said that his party's core committee will meet on February 18, following which the course of action will be decided.
Yesterday Mr Manjhi had given rise to speculations of a rift in the Bihar grand alliance after he had said that his party will under no circumstance accept any less number of seats than what Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) will get.
"We will in no way accept any less number of seats than being offered to RLSP chief Upendra Kushwaha," he had said.
On February 11, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) leader Tej Pratap had also met Mr Manjhi and had said that everyone will be given importance in the grand alliance.
"Everyone is important in the grand alliance (Mahagathbandhan), everyone plays their own role. The discussion was done over elections and how everything will work out," Mr Pratap had said.
Upendra Kushwaha, whose RLSP was an NDA ally since the 2014 Lok Sabha polls when it won all the three seats it contested, resigned from the union council of ministers and severed ties with the BJP-led coalition in December last year.
Although there has been no formal announcement on the number of seats on which each party in the Mahagathbandhan would be contesting, RLSP sources said an agreement has been reached where the party would get four - Motihari, Ujiyarpur, Gopalganj and Karakat.