Manjhi, Sharad Yadav Meet with Lalu in Ranchi Jail

Jitan Ram Manjhi at Ranchi Jail on Saturday.

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Patna: With 2019 Lok Sabha elections almost around the corner, politicians part of the Grand Alliance in Bihar jockeying for more seats for their parties are stepping up on their effort to impress Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad Yadav who, despite being behind bars, holds the ultimate power in deciding who gets to contest the election and who doesn't.

The influence of Yadav on the upcoming Lok Sabha elections and how the seats would be shared among more than half a dozen parties currently in the so-called Mahagathbandhan was glaringly evident on Saturday when former Nitish allies - Jitan Ram Manjhi and Sharad Yadav – met with the RJD chief who may be out because of his conviction in a host of fodder scam-related cases, but not down thanks to his godfather persona in the state politics.

Both Manjhi and Yadav held meeting with the former Bihar Chief Minister behind closed doors at the Ranchi Jail. They, however, refused to divulge the details of their talk insisting it was merely a non-political meeting meant to find out about his overall welfare and health condition.

However, sources said that the former Chief Minister of Bihar and Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) chief Jitan Ram Manjhi and former Janata Dal – U president Sharad Yadav discussed seat-sharing arrangement for the Parliamentary elections with both demanding more seats than 'just some scraps thrown at them'.

"We just came to enquire about the health of Lalu ji and though we discussed a bit of politics, not much was said about it. The final decision on seat-sharing would be taken at the coordination committee of the alliance," Manjhi said.

Sharad Yadav arriving at Ranchi Jail on Saturday.

Sharad Yadav, talking to the reporters, said that the ultimate goal of the Grand Alliance was to defeat the BJP in the next election and he was leaving no stone unturned in achieving this goal.

"Our goal is to get rid of the BJP at the Center and Nitish Kumar in Bihar. The Grand Alliance is completely united in its mission and there is no dispute over seat-sharing. Everything will become clear in the coming days," Sharad Yadav said.

Lalu Prasad Yadav's son-in-law and husband of his eldest daughter Samresh Singh was also present on the occasion.

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