Arjun Munda holds a sword as he is welcomed by BJP workers at Namkum, Ranchi, on Friday for winning the Kharsawan bypoll. Picture by Hardeep Singh
Ranchi, Feb. 18: Fresh from his victory in Kharsawan, chief minister Arjun Munda today took a dig at JVM chief Babulal Marandi for having vowed to form the government had his nominee won the crucial by-election.
Addressing BJP workers, the chief minister reminded Marandi that while campaigning in Kharsawan, the JVM leader had repeatedly said he would be forming an alternative government on February 18, if his party candidate won.
Today, he challenged Marandi to disclose the names of at least 40 MLAs who had apparently promised to help him form an alternative government in the state.
“This clearly leads to the conclusion that Marandi already had the support of 40 MLAs and that he was looking for the 41st seat, Kharsawan. Now, it is high time for him to declare the names of 40 MLAs who were ready to support him form an alternative government in the state,” Munda said, breaking his silence on his political opponent.
He then followed it up with a promise: “If he does, I promise to immediately quit the Kharsawan Assembly seat and try my luck again.”
But, Munda added, that if Marandi failed to do so, it would only mean that he tried to “dupe the masses for personal gain” and that the very credibility of all political workers cutting across the party lines, would be at stake.
Munda also reminded the former chief minister how he tried to create confusion by issuing conflicting statements on panchayati raj system in Jharkhand, Panchayati Raj Extension to Scheduled Areas Act and Chhotanagpur Tenancy Act.
“Those who are opposing PESA now were Lok Sabha members in 1996 when this bill was passed by Parliament. Did they utter a word against it then? Were the then chief minister and his panchayati raj minister sleeping when the panchayati raj bill was passed by the state assembly 2001?,” the chief minister questioned.
Munda promised to work hard for the growth of the state. Improving condition of roads, efficient water management and positive development of human resources figure were on his priority list.
He reiterated that the appointment of high school teachers would be completed within three months and transparency would be maintained while probing corruption cases.
The chief minister congratulated the electorate of Kharsawan for bringing about political stability in the state and also thanked his political rivals for their intensive campaigns during the bypoll.
Munda, who was declared elected from the Kharsawan Assembly seat yesterday, reached the state capital this evening. He was extended a warm reception by BJP workers at several places along the Ranchi-Tata highway.