Patna, Bihar: Former chief minister of Bihar, Jitan Ram Manjhi's political outfit, Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) has been allotted telephone as a symbol by the Election Commission. Mr Manjhi shared the information in a tweet today.
Formally launched in May this year, HAM is ally of the BJP led National Democratic Alliance, and Mr Manjhi had even shared the dais with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a rally in Bihar's Muzaffarpur district on July 25.
Mr Manjhi is likely to be made national President of HAM soon. A spokesperson for HAM, Danish Rizwan said, "He (Manjhi) will contest and also campaign for HAM and NDA candidates in the Bihar election."
According to party leaders, almost a dozen lawmakers from the Janata Dal United (JDU) in Bihar are likely to join HAM after PM Modi's rally in Gaya on August 9, a final decision on the date will be taken later by the party's core committee.
Mr Manjhi is currently an unattached member of the Bihar assembly, membership of many of his supporting lawmakers have been terminated, while some continue in JDU as rebels.
According to sources, 15 JDU rebels are likely to contest as HAM candidates, while three others may be fielded by BJP in the upcoming assembly elections.
Last year, Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar had handpicked Mr Manjhi to take his place when he stepped down as chief minister after his Janata Dal (United) was wiped out in the national election last year. When the JD(U) decided it was time for Mr Kumar to return, Mr Manjhi refused to step down, forcing the party to throw him out in February this year.