NEW DELHI: Former Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi today met Prime Minister Narendra Modi amid talks of the merger of six old Janata Parivar splinter parties ahead of the assembly polls in the state later this year.
After the meeting, Manjhi said he would work to defeat Janata Parivar and was open to a tie up with BJP.
The Mahadalit leader, who was ousted from JD(U) after he protested the party's decision to remove him as chief minister, however, claimed that he would contest the polls on his own and may join hands with BJP later on.
Manjhi, who has vowed to defeat Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, has been conducting meeting with BJP leaders even as the party strives to put together a strong social combination to take on the JD(U)-RJD combine.
He is expected to announce formation of a new political party at a rally in Patna on April 20.
Asked about the imminent merger of JD(U) and RJD, he said, "The real JD(U) will remain with me" and claimed to have support of 28 MLAs.