Patna: HAM president Jitan Ram Manjhi on Saturday hailed the victory of Asaduddin Owaisis AIMIM in Kishanganj assembly by-poll saying the maiden success of the Hyderabad MPs party in Bihar will pave the way for "dalit-muslim unity" across the country.
Manjhi, who is also a former chief minister, condemned the adverse remarks against Owaisi by some people and asserted that communalism and fake nationalism posed a greater threat to the nation.
We are a democracy in which every party can contest elections from anywhere. I congratulate Asaduddin Owaisi and his party for entering the fray in Kishanganj and emerging victorious, Manjhi said in a statement here.
I condemn the adverse remarks made by some people against Owaisi. The nation faces a bigger threat from communalism and fake nationalism than from the victory of AIMIM in Kishanganj, said Manjhi, a dalit leader, in a veiled criticism of the BJP and its firebrand leader Giriraj Singh.
Manjhi's Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) is a constituent of the five-party Grand Alliance led by RJD. One of the primary reasons why I welcome AIMIMs victory in Kishanganj is that in the Seemanchal region of Bihar, dalits and muslims face the threat of being dubbed as outsiders and terrorists in the name of implementation of NRC.
Results of the by-election will pave the way for nation-wide dalit-muslim unity, he added.
Formerly with the JD(U), Manjhi had quit it and floated HAM in 2015 in protest against having been made to step down as chief minister to make way for the return of his political mentor Nitish Kumar.
He had started off as a constituent of the NDA wherein he was welcomed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who called Manjhis forced resignation an insult to the 'Mahadalit' class.
He walked out of the BJP-led coalition in less than a year after Kumars return to the same in July, 2017. However, Manjhi has been sore with the RJD ever since the Grand Alliance was drubbed in the general elections this year.
Out of five assembly seats where by-polls were held earlier this week, the RJD had fielded its candidates in all except Kishanganj a seat which was held by the Congress. This time Congress ended up a distant third and forfeited its deposit.
The RJD won two seats and lost one Nathnagar by a margin of votes that was less than the tally of the HAM candidate whom Manjhi had fielded as a token of protest against Tejashwi Yadav, the son of Lalu Prasad.