Ram Vilas Paswan, Chirag Paswan file papers

Patna: Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) chief and former Bihar Chief Minister Jitan Ram Manjhi on Monday filed his nomination papers from the Gaya parliamentary constituency for the Lok Sabha polls.

The BJP ally LJP chief and Union Minister Ram Vilas Paswan’s son Chirag Paswan on Monday filed nomination papers from the Jamui parliamentary constituency for the polls. Chirag won the seat in 2014.

Ahead of filing nomination papers, Chirag Paswan offered special prayers and performed rituals to Hindu deities. He was accompanied by his father Ram Vilas Paswan and his two brothers Ramchandra Paswan, and Pasupati Kumar Paras, Bihar minister.

Manjhi’s party is part of the opposition ‘grand alliance’ of Rashtriya Janata Dal, Congress, Rashtriya Lok Samta Party (RLSP) and Vikassheel Insan Party (VIP).

Manjhi was accompanied by several leaders of the alliance, including former minister and RJD legislator Surender Yadav and Congress legislator Avadesh Singh. Party workers and supporters raised slogans as he submitted the documents.

Gaya is Manjhi’s home district. He belongs to the Musahar community, one of the most backward communities.

The ruling NDA has fielded Vijay Manjhi of the Janata Dal-United from Gaya as the seat went to the JD-U according to the seat sharing formula.

This seat was won by BJP’s Hari Manjhi in 2014.

Gaya is one of the five Lok Sabha seats in Bihar that the BJP has given to the JD-U, despite having sitting MPs.

After filing his nomination, Manjhi said: “People have made up their mind to vote against BJP-led NDA”, he said.

As per the ‘grand alliance’ seat-sharing formula announced on March 22, the RJD will contest 20 of the 40 seats and the Congress nine, while smaller parties will be in contention for the remaining constituencies.

The RLSP will put up candidates in 5 seats, HAM and VIP in 3 each and the RJD will give one seat out of its quota to the Communist Party of India-Marxist Leninist (CPI-ML).

The election process for first and second phase of polling for Lok Sabha polls was under way in Bihar, which will vote in all seven phases.