Babulal Marandi set to return to BJP after 14 years
Ranchi: Fourteen years after he snapped relations with the BJP, former Jharkhand chief minister Babulal Marandi on Tuesday announced his "wapsi" (return) to the saffron party.
Marandi declared that his Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) will merge with the Bharatia Janata Party (BJP) with immediate effect.
"A formal merger ceremony will take place on February 17 at Jagannathpur maidan, which is also known as Prabhat Tara maidan, in the presence of BJPs former president and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, present BJP president J P Nadda and BJP vice-president Om Prakash Mathur," Marandi told reporters.
Office-bearers of the party, district presidents and members of the executive committee were present in the JVM(P) meeting when the merger proposal was unanimously passed and approved, he said.
JVM-P has three MLAs, but two of them--Bandhu Tirkey and Pradip Yadav- have rebelled and the meeting during the day decided to expel them from the party.
Marandi will be the lone legislator of the party after doors were shown to the two others.
BJP has 25 MLAs presently in the 81-member Jharkhand Assembly. It lost power to opposition alliance of JMM- Congress-RJD in the state polls in the end of last year.
The merger announcement ended the speculations about return of Marandi to the BJP.
The move was triggered by the fact that even after lapse of over two months of elections, the BJP has yet not appointed its legislature party leader, apparently in the hope of Marandis return.
"In all, five proposals were unanimously approved by the committees. Two of the important proposals are merger of JVM- Ps legislature party with the BJPs legislature party and JVM-Ps merger with the BJP (in that order)," Marandi said briefing about the meeting.
"The other three proposals are, ratifying the expulsions of party MLAs Bandhu Tirkey on January 21 and Pradip Yadav on February 6 and disposal of partys assets as per legal provisions," Marandi said, adding all decisions were taken as per the partys constitution.