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Two Marandis resign--one from BJP, other from UPA

Written by: Staff
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Ranchi, May 18 (UNI) Two top political leaders in Jharkhand today announced almost simultaneous resignations--Mr Babulal Marandi from BJP's preliminary membership and Lok Sabha and Stephen Marandi from the post of convenor of state United Progressive Alliance (UPA).

With this, the state is all set to have a third political front, a move already in the offing for the past few weeks.

Both Marandis are associated with Jharkhand Vikash Morcha (JVM), a non-political organisation in the state.

Mr Babulal Marandi is the BJP MP from Koderma seat in Jharkhand which has 14 representatives in Parliament while Stephen Marandi represents Dumka legislative assembly seat as an Independent.

When Babulal Marandi became the first Chief Minister of Jharkhand, Stephen Marandi, then with Jharkhand Mukti Morcha, played the part of Opposition leader.

Later, Stephen Marandi became Deputy Chief Minister after Mr Shibu Soren took the reins of top chair in the state.

Last week speculation was rife when both were seen under one umbrella at a meeting of JVM held at Jamshedpur. And to the utter embarrassment of the BJP leadership, Babulal Marandi said he would go to any extent to keep up his fight against corruption and extremism. He also attributed lack of development to naxalite movement in the state.

At Jamshedpur, the former Chief Minister hinted at launching a third front too.

With internal squabbles getting prominent in BJP, the central leadership rushed general secretary Sanjay Joshi here who on May 15 had to return to New Delhi carrying a resignation letter from the defiant Babulal Marandi.

Prior to that, Babulal Marandi on May 14 held a press conference at his official residence to say he was feeling marginalised in his party as no one was listening to his complaint.

As a first phase of his agitation, the BJP stalwart on May 17, began a 24-hour fast at Giridih district along with his local supporters amid speculation that he might resign from the party national Vice-President's post.

More UNI PRS PL RP DS1620

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