Jharkhand is witnessing rapid political developments with the party of Babulal Marandi moving towards a merger with the BJP. Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM) chief Marandi announced he was leaving the UPA on Friday.
Marandi has withdrawn support to the UPA by writing a letter to Chief Minister Hemant Soren. He has written in the letter that the INC was trying to woo away JVM MLAs. He wrote he had to rethink the matter of supporting the government and decided to withdraw the support. JVM has three MLAs in the Jharkhand Vidhan Sabha.
Marandi also removed Pradeep Yadav from the post of leader of the JVM legislature party after the latter and Bandhu Tirkey decided not to join an alliance with the BJP. The JVM informed the speaker about the same.
Yadav and Tirkey met INC national president Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi on Thursday, indicating what their future politics would be. However, there are some technical hurdles for the MLAs expelled from the JVM to join the INC. Both Tirkey and Yadav have sought legal advice on whether expelled legislators can join another party while retaining their MLA status.
Yadav questioned the decision of party president Marandi. He said, “There was no meeting of the legislature party. I have been removed from the post and they have not even informed me about it.” He said it was not the party but the group of legislators of the party who choose their leader for the assembly. “There should be a meeting of the legislature party before removing someone from the post of the leader of the legislative party. I have not been informed of any such meeting,” he said.
However, as seen in the case of Ajit Pawar in Maharashtra, a party chief can manage to remove the head of the legislative party, which Sharad Pawar had done despite not being an MLA, and then persuade the MLAs to vote as he wishes.
The JVM and BJP are now ironing out the technicalities of their merger. the JVM is busy in paperwork for the merger. Party funds and income tax returns, among other things, need to be declared to the Election Commission during a merger of parties.
Marandi has formed a new executive that is working out the proposal for the merger with BJP. It will send the finalised proposal to the BJP central leadership to complete the process of merger.
Meanwhile, Soren is expected to expand his cabinet on 28 January. The INC is insistent on getting five ministers. RPN Singh, in charge of the party in the state, has spoken to the INC president Sonia Gandhi. On Thursday evening, he had had a conversation with Soren too. The ball is now in Sonia Gandhi’s court. A final decision on this is expected only after 26 January.
The JMM is not too keen on giving away five ministerial positions to the INC. It is concerned about the regional and ethnic equations. At the moment, Soren has decided to keep Yadav and Tirkey out of the exercise.
Sirf News had reported earlier that the JMM had too many MLAs supporting its government, which makes the INC nearly redundant for the Soren government’s sustenance.