Ranchi, February 17: Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik), also known as JVM, officially merged with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday. The merger was presided over by the return of the JVM chief - Babulal Marandi - into the BJP fold. His re-entry to the saffron camp was welcomed by BJP national president JP Nadda and Union Home Minister Amit Shah. Jharkhand: Stones Hurled at BJP's Pro-CAA Rally in Lohardaga, 12 Injured.
"I have been trying to bring Babulal Marandi into BJP since I was made BJP chief in 2014. Someone rightly said that he is quite stubborn. We couldn't persuade him easily. He has now joined BJP as per the wish of the people of Jharkhand," Shah said in Ranchi, at the event marking the return of Marandi to the BJP.
Marandi, a former Union Minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led central government, had left the party in 2006 to float his own JVM. After back-to-back electoral setbacks for his party, followed by a spree of desertions, the 62-year-old decided to make whi back to the saffron party.
Update by ANI
Union Home Minister Amit Shah in Ranchi: I have been trying to bring Babulal Marandi into BJP since I was made BJP chief in 2014. Someone rightly said that he is quite stubborn. We couldn't persuade him easily. He has now joined BJP as per the wish of the people of Jharkhand. pic.twitter.com/gzC6mENukl
— ANI (@ANI) February 17, 2020
Speculations were rife since the results of Jharkhand assembly polls in December that Marandi could make his way back to the party. The BJP had sent overtures to Marandi, asking him to merge the JVM with the BJP. This was the reason, claim party insiders, the BJP had so far not appointed the legislature party leader. With the return of Marandi, the post would be accorded to him, they were reported as saying.
In the December elections, the BJP was driven out from power by the alliance of JMM-Congress-RJD. The incumbent party was restricted to 25 seats, whereas, the JVM's tally was restricted to three. Out of the trio, two legislators have rebelled and signalled to join the ruling JMM. Maranadi, the sole remaining MLA of the JVM, has decided to merge the party with the BJP.