Former Jharkhand Chief Minister Babulal Marandi was elected as the Legislative party leader of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) here on Monday. He was elected unanimously as the leader after BJP Legislator Anant Ojha proposed his name, which was supported by other Legislators of the party. After getting elected to the Legislative party, Marandi has also become the Leader of Opposition in the Assembly.
"I was struggling outside and so returned home. Your cooperation will be my strength" said Marandi to the BJP workers after getting elected. The election took place in presence of central BJP leaders P. Murlidhar Rao, BJP national vice president Om Mathur and others. After the elections, the BJP had not elected its Legislative party head as it was kept vacant for Marandi. The Assembly polls concluded in December 2019 and post of Legislative party leader remained vacant for two months.
Marandi returned to the BJP after 14 years in presence of Home Minister Amit Shah on February 17. The BJP made his joining a grant event. When Jharkhand was carved out from Bihar in 2000, Marandi became the first Chief Minister of the state. He had clean image and started a fight against the Maoists.
In retaliation, the Maoists killed his son in 2007 in Giridih district. Marandi, during his tenure as the Chief Minister, worked in the transport sector and road network connected each village of the state. Marandi, however, failed to keep the allies together during his rule. The allies revolted against him and forced him to resign in March 2003 leading to the elevation of Arjun Munda as the Chief Minister.
Marandi quit the BJP just after fall of the Arjun Munda government in 2006, and later floated the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik (JVM-P). After the poll debacle in the recently concluded Assembly polls, Marandi merged his party with the BJP.