Amitabh Choudhary hands over the membership fee to Babulal Marandi in Ranchi on Thursday. (Prashant Mitra)
Ranchi, Feb. 27: Jharkhand State Cricket Association President Amitabh Choudhary today joined Babulal Marandi’s JVM which is likely to field him as the party’s candidate for the prestigious Ranchi Lok Sabha seat.
“We will definitely be giving careful consideration to his candidature while finalising names of our nominees for various Lok Sabha constituencies,” the JVM chief told The Telegraph.
A former Indian Police Service officer, Choudhary said he was proud to be a member of the JVM. “He is the tallest political personality in Jharkhand. His two-and-a-half year tenure as chief minister after Jharkhand was carved out of Bihar has been a historic one,” he said about Marandi.
Asked about contesting elections, Choudhary said he was not averse to contesting the Ranchi Lok Sabha seat if the JVM wanted him to do so. “The electorate of Ranchi is very conscious. They always exercise their franchise judiciously,” he added.
Chaudhary maintained he was ready to shoulder responsibilities assigned to him by the party. Asked why he chose the JVM, he said that Marandi alone was capable of leading the state in the right direction.
Ever since the JSCA chief, credited with putting Ranchi on the world cricketing map after having built a world class stadium at Dhurwa, made it known that he would be joining politics, speculation has been rife about which party he would choose.
Initially, he seemed to be cosying up to the BJP, presenting himself often at the party’s functions in the presence of former chief minister Arjun Munda no less.
Word was out that he would be inducted into the party during the Ranchi rally of Narendra Modi, the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, on December 29.
But when that did not happen, it was clear that a Choudhary-BJP match wasn’t about to happen.
However, Chaudhary’s close friend and senior BJP leader Saryu Roy claimed that the JSCA boss’s formal induction in the BJP was never discussed at any party forum.
“No one is aware why the BJP high-command gave him a cold shoulder. Choudhary is also a personal friend with whom I share an excellent rapport. But, he never approached me for any kind of help on the issue,” Roy added.