New Delhi, Feb 11: After big setback in Delhi at the hand of fledgling Aam Aadmi party, BJP has got some reason to cheer. On Wednesday, six out of eight JVM MLAs in Jharkhand joined the BJP. Reportedly the MLAs switched over to Saffron party in the presence of Chief Minister Raghubar Das in Delhi.
"Naveen Jaiswal (Hatia), Amar Kumar Bauri (Chandankiyari), Ganesh Ganju (Simeria), Alok Kumar Chourasia (Daltonganj), Ranjit Singh (Sarath) and Janki Yadav (Barkatha) joined the party at Jharkhand Bhavan in Delhi today," BJP's state unit spokesman Pradip Sinha said.
The development has taken place only a day after the legislators wrote to Speaker Dinesh Oraon to allot them separate seats alongside the ruling BJP members in the state Assembly.
"Six JVM MLAs gave a letter seeking separate sitting arrangement in the House alongside the ruling party members," the Speaker had said. He, however, said he would look into the process as per rule and that will "take time".
Earlier BJP had 37 MLAs of its own, and it had formed the government in the state with the help of MLAs from Sudesh Mahto's AJSU. Now the alliance has 48 MLAs and is much more comfortably placed in the 81-member assembly.
Replying to a question as to why BJP was trying to break other parties, Das said, "I am not interested in breaking but connecting others. Those who want to support the BJP government in carrying out the development of the state are welcome."
JVM president and former Jharkhand chief minister Babulal Marandi had accused the BJP of trying to poach MLAs from his party and Congress, a charge denied by the saffron party. The former chief minister had on Monday suspended Jaiswal, Bauri, Chourasia and Ganju on the ground of alleged anti-party activities.
Marandi, who had led the first BJP-led NDA government after Jharkhand was carved out of Bihar on 15 November, 2000, left the saffron party and floated JVM a few years ago.
Thereafter, Jharkhand saw rise and fall of several governments before the 10th government was formed on December 28 last year.
Marandi was the first CM of Jharkhand when BJP had formed government in the state after the bifurcation of Bihar in 2000.
Later, Marandi had parted ways from BJP over the issues of Chief Ministership and formed his own party JVM (P).
Recently efforts have been made by BJP to convince Marandi to come back to the parent party and merge JVM (P) with BJP which Marandi had declined.
(with inputs from PTI)