Bandhu Tirkey and Pradeep Yadav, two of three elected members from JVM, are expected to join Congress (Photo Credit: Twitter @ANI)
Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM) MLAs Bandhu Tirkey and Pradeep Yadav on Thursday met Congress president Sonia Gandhi, senior leader Rahul Gandhi and others at her residence 10, Janpath in Delhi. The meeting seemed to confirm the rumours that Bandhu Tirkey and Pradeep Yadav, two of three elected members from Babulal Marandi-led JVM, are about to join Congress party.
Bandhu Tirkey has already been expelled from the party for “anti-party activities during and after the recent Assembly polls”. Tirkey has recieved support from Yadav against party leader and the third elected MLA of the party- Babulal Marandi.
While the move will not any significant effect on the numbers game in the Jharkhand assembly, it may clear way for a very big change in the politics of the state. The exit of Tirkey and Yadav may clear the way for Babulal Marandi's return to his original party- the BJP.
It has been reported that while Marandi has been actively considering his party's merger with BJP, Tirkey and Yadav have been opposed to it. If both Tirkey and Yadav join Congress, Marandi will be free to merge his party with BJP.
BJP had picked Marandi as the first Chief Minister of Jharkhand in November 2000 when the state was carved out of Bihar. However, he had to quit the party in 2006 and went on to form his own party - Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM).
It was reported that Tirkey and Yadav had forced Marandi to extend support to Hemant Soren-led government in the state after the assembly elections. Tirkey’s expulsion was considered to be an indication of Marandi inching close to merging his party with the BJP.
The party expelled him based on a complaint by its Hatia Assembly candidate Shobha Yadav who claimed Tirkey campaigned for her rival Congress candidate Ajay Nath Shahdeo, attaching photographs as “proof”. Tirkey has denied the allegations and claimed the purported pictures of his campaigning for the Congress were before the 2019 parliamentary election where he was campaigning for the Ranchi Congress MP nominee Subodh Kant Sahay. JVM and Congress were allies in the 2019 parliamentary election.