Will Manjhi be the “Mountain Man” for BJP in Bihar?


Jiten Ram Manji, the former Chief Minister of Bihar, is one of the prominent figures in the ensuing Bihar elections. After being suspended from Janata Dal (United), this former Chief Minister, along with his supporters floated a new party Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM).

Manjhi joined the BJP led National Democratic Alliance and is contesting the elections on 20 seats. BJP is betting big on Manjhi to swing the Mahadalit votebank from Nitish led Janata alliance into NDA fold. Mahadalits account for 10% of Bihar population and could influence the outcome in not only the 40 seats reserved for SC/ST category but also approximately 40 other seats, meaning they have significant influence in one-third of the seats. This is precisely the reason why BJP roped in Manjhi. 42% Mahadalits voted for NDA in 2014 Lok Sabha polls. Manjhi himself belongs to the musahar sub-caste which accounts for 15% of Mahadalit population…

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