Amit Shah, Babulal Marandi in Ranchi. (PTI)
Two months after the Assembly elections in Jharkhand, the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) (JVM-P) split on Monday with one faction led by its leader and former chief minister Babulal Marandi returning to the BJP, and two MLAs joining the Congress and claiming that the entire party is with them. The party has three MLAs, including Marandi.
Marandi claimed in Ranchi that the JVM-P has merged with the BJP in the presence of Home Minister Amit Shah, but two MLAs Bandhu Tirkey and Pradeep Yadav appeared at a press conference at the Congress headquarters in Delhi around the same time and announced the party’s merger with the Congress.
Asked if the Congress would now seek Marandi’s disqualification under the anti-defection law, AICC in-charge of Jharkhand R P N Singh said it is for the Assembly Speaker to take a decision on it.
In Ranchi, Home Minister Shah welcomed Marandi back into the BJP. “I am delighted that Babulal Marandi has returned to BJP. I was working for his return since 2014 when I became the party president,” Shah said.
Marandi said his return to the BJP was not sudden and that leaders of the saffron party had been trying to persuade him to return. “... I admit whatever I am today is because of the BJP,” he said.