It’s the turn of Jharkhand after Haryana and Maharashtra are through with their respective Assembly elections. Apparently sensing they will face a rout in the upcoming Jharkhand Assembly election, seeing possibly a repeat of the outcome in the states where the poll results will be known tomorrow (24 October), politicians from different parties are making a beeline to join the BJP. Two MLAs have switched sides; many including Jayaprakash Bhai Patel are in the queue to join the ruling party. Relatively fewer MLAs are moving to other parties.
Although the Assembly election has not been announced yet, seven odd MLAs are ready to desert their respective parties to join the BJP. Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM) MLA Prakash Ram has joined the BJP while All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) MLA Vikas Munda has joined the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM). In a scenario where the election schedule has been announced, politicians who are denied nominations would add to the flock of deserters.
Six JMM MLAs have joined the BJP. After the last Assembly election, six MLAs of the JVM had joined the BJP. Of them, Randhir Singh and Amar Bauri are ministers at present. Janki Yadav is the chairman of Jharkhand Housing Board, Ganesh Ganjhu of Jharkhand Agricultural Marketing Council and MLA Alok Chaurasia is the chairman of Jharkhand Forest Development Corporation.
Apart from them, Naveen Jaiswal has been given the responsibility of state minister in BJP. The BJP MLAs are once again preparing to contest the election, hoping all of them will be nominated again.
After the JVM and Congress, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) gets IPS officer Ajay Kumar who had started his career in politics with the JVM. He became an MP from Jamshedpur on a JVM’s ticket. Then he joined the Congress. First, he was made a national spokesman of the Congress. After this, he was made the president of the Jharkhand PCC. Now he has switched sides and joined the AAP.
Arjun Munda, who had come to the BJP from JMM, became chief minister and Union minister. He had started his politics from JMM. He first became an MLA in 1995 on a JMM ticket. After this, he joined the BJP. He became chief minister thrice as an MLA of the BJP. Presently, he is the Union minister for tribal affairs after winning the Lok Sabha election from Khunti.
Vidyut Varan Mahato, who became a BJP MP twice, had begun his career with the JMM, too. He became an MLA on a JMM ticket first. After this, he joined the BJP in 2014. Then, he contested from Jamshedpur seat twice and won. He is currently an MP.
Anant Pratap Dev, originally an MLA of the Congress, contested on a BJP ticket and lost. He had fought on the Congress symbol the election from Bhavnathpur. But after a trip to Delhi, he joined the BJP and contested as a candidate of his new party but the people rejected him.
MP Ravindra Rai was an MLA of the BJP. When Babulal Marandi formed the JVM, Rai left the BJP and joined JVM. He stayed in the JVM for two years and then returned to the BJP that made him the state unit president. In the 2014 Lok Sabha election, he contested from Koderma on a BJP ticket and became an MP, but in 2019, his nomination was not repeated.
Before the 2019 Lok Sabha election, RJD state president Annapurna Devi had left the party and joined the BJP. The BJP fielded her from Koderma. Currently, she is a BJP MP. Before the last Lok Sabha election, Geeta Koda, MLA of the Jai Bharat Equality Party, joined the Congress. She became an MP from Singhbhum Lok Sabha seat on a Congress ticket.
Weathercocks of Jharkhand
Here is a list of politicians from Jharkhand who have switched parties once, twice or thrice. The parties’ names against the names of the politicians appear in the order in which these ‘leaders’ were part of those organisations.
- Prakash Ram, MLA: JVM, BJP
- Vikas Munda, MLA: AJSU, JMM
- Manoj Bhuyan, former MP: JVM, BJP
- Annapurna Devi, former state president RJD: BJP
- Girinath Singh, former state president RJD: BJP
- Janardan Paswan, former MLA of RJD: BJP
- Jaleshwar Mahato, former state president of JDU: Congress
- Geeta Koda. MLA: Jantantrik Bahujan Samaj Party (JBSP), Congress
- Neelam Devi: JVM, BJP
- Prabhat Bhuiyan: JVM, BJP
- Dulal Bhuiyan, former legislator BSP: JMM
- Salkhan Murmu, president JDP: JDU
Other than the above, the following Jharkhand politicians have switched parties: Inder Singh Namdhari, Abha Mahato, Shailendra Mahato, Lalchand Mahato, Ramchandra Kesari, Hemlal Murmu, Simon Marandi, Stephen Marandi, Radhakrishna Kishore, Nagmani and others.