BJP nominates Babulal Marandi as Leader of Opposition in Jharkhand
Jharkhand’s first chief minister Babulal Marandi, who joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) after merging his party Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik (JVM-P) with the saffron party last week, was unanimously elected the Leader of Opposition on Monday.
Marandi’s election as the Leader of Opposition was done in the BJP’s legislator party meeting at the party’s headquarters in Ranchi.
Party’s national general secretary Murlidhar Rao, who has been appointed as observer for the election of LoP, asked all the 25 BJP MLAs to elect their leader.
Baghmara MLA Dhullu Mahto, who is absconding to avoid a possible arrest in connection with an alleged sexual harassment case lodged against him, however, was not present at the meeting.
Rajmahal legislator Anant Ojha proposed Marandi’s name to which others extended their support.
Extending gratitude to the party’s MLAs, Marandi said, “Initially, I wanted to serve the people by making my presence among them. But I am grateful to the party for entrusting such a responsibility to me. With the help of my colleague MLAs, I will leave no stone unturned to perform my duties as Leader of the Opposition.”
Addressing the media, party’s general secretary Arun Singh said, “The legislators unanimously elected Marandi as their leader to represent them in Jharkhand’s fifth assembly. MLAs also gave their support in writing. A letter regarding Marandi’s election has been submitted to the speaker for a formal announcement. Being the state’s first chief minister and having vast political experience, Marandi is the perfect choice as leader of the opposition. He is a great fighter and his joining the BJP has tremendously increased the party’s strength.”
“The party feels that a strong opposition is needed to corner the incumbent government inside and outside the Assembly. In the last 56 days of the Hemant Soren government, the state witnessed 20 violent incidents related to Left-Wing extremism. The state is now reduced into a ‘jungle raj’. Considering this, it has now become imperative to question the government at all platforms and the BJP’s MLAs under Marandi’s leadership will do this job,” said Singh.
BJP’s national vice-president Om Prakash Mathur, Jharkhand’s former chief ministers Arjun Munda and Raghubar Das and party’s many other senior leaders congratulated Marandi on his new role.