Former Bihar Chief Minister and Hindustani Awam Morcha (Secular) president Jitan Ram Manjhi said here on Friday that the party would contest the next Assembly election on its own. Mr. Manjhi alleged that the NDA and the grand alliance had let down his party during the previous elections. The next Assembly election in Bihar is due in November 2020.“Both the NDA and the grand alliance had cheated us in elections… so my party men have suggested that we contest the next Assembly polls in the State on our own,” Mr. Manjhi told presspersons soon after launching the party’s membership drive in Patna. “Whatever seats we win would be our own and on our strength,” he said. Out of the State’s 40 Lok Sabha seats, Mr. Manjhi’s party contested three — as a member of the Mahagathbandhan (grand alliance) — and drawn a blank. “My party was given three seats in last parliamentary elections but only I, from Gaya (reserved) seat, was contesting as our party candidate as the other two seats had Congress and RJD candidates,” Mr. Manjhi said. “This decision had angered my party leaders and workers.” “Now, they [party leaders and workers] have suggested to contest the Assembly poll in 2020 on our own strength.”“Mr. Manjhi had not said that his party would come out of Mahagathbandhan… he has only said that his party would contest the next Assembly poll on its own,” an RJD leader said, declining to be identified.However, a leader of the ruling JD(U) took a dig at Mr. Manjhi’s statement. “RJD-led Mahagathbandhan is a sinking ship and it’s natural that its constituent parties would like to abandon this ship in next Assembly poll,” the leader asserted, speaking on condition of anonymity.