Manjhi, a detractor of Kumar, has floated Hindustani Awam Party after being ousted as Chief Minister and is said to be veering towards the BJP. "We are for broader unity of parties against BJP in which everybody, including Manjhi, shall come forward," Lalu told reporters here before leaving for Delhi to attend a meeting of Janata Parivar constituents on Friday.

"Be it merger or alliance, there is a need for broader unity of parties to fight together against BJP...Manjhi and others shall come forward for this," the RJD president said.

State JD(U) president Basistha Narayan Singh said there was "no point" in bringing Manjhi into the picture due to his reported proximity to BJP. "Manjhi is not in the to do list of Janata Party unity process. Nitish Kumar had chosen him for the chair of Chief Minister, but he turned out to be a puppet in the hands of BJP," state JD(U) spokesman Neeraj Kumar stated, reacting to Lalu's invitation to Manjhi.

Brishen Patel, a former Minister and close aide of Manjhi, however, thanked Lalu for the invitation but made it clear that his party will not be a part of any political combination which has Nitish Kumar.

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