Former Chief Minister and president of the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM-P), Babulal Marandi on Tuesday announced merger of his party with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
“The executive body of the party unanimously decided to merge the party with the BJP. It will be in the interest of the state,” said Marandi, while announcing merger of the JVM-P with the BJP.
He said: “The formal merger will take place in a programme at the Prabhat Tara ground of Ranchi on February 17. BJP national president J.P. Nadda and Home Minister Amit Shah will participate in the merger programme.”
Earlier, the JVM-P executive committee meeting took place here. Marandi moved the proposal for merger, which was passed unanimously.
Asked about his future role in the BJP, he said: “I will fulfil all the responsibilities which will be given to me”.
Marandi is likely to be elected as the Legislative party leader of the BJP after the merger as the BJP is yet to elect it’s legislative party leader. It is believed that the post is lying vacant for Marandi.
The merger will take place in a grand way in presence of the Amit Shah and senior BJP leaders. By getting Marandi back into the party, the BJP is aiming to revive the party among the tribal community. The first non-tribal Chief Minister Raghubar Das failed to find a favour with the tribal community and the BJP lost majorly in the tribal seats in the 2019 Assembly poll, thereby losing the state.
To effect the merger smoothly, the JVM-P expelled it’s two Legislators Pradeep Yadav and Bandhu Tirkey, who were openly opposing the merger.
Mandar MLA Bandhu Tirkey was expelled in January and Yadav on February 6 after being blamed for making anti-party statements.
In the 2019 Assembly elections, the JVM-P won three seats, including Babulal Marandi, Pradeep Yadav and Bandhu Tirkey.
The merger was conceived soon after the JVM-P and the BJP were trounced in the Assembly poll, party sources said.
Marandi was the first Chief Minister of the BJP-led government in Jharkhand. He, however, quit the BJP in 2006 and floated JVM-P.