BJP leaders Arjun Munda, Ravindra Rai and CP Singh welcome former Congress leader Radha Krishna Kishore into the party in Ranchi on Tuesday. Picture by Hardeep Singh
Ranchi, July 29: The state BJP received a shot in the arm today when several political heavyweights cutting across party lines formally joined it.
The prominent new entrants are former MLAs Radha Krishna Kishore (Congress) and Ram Chandra Chandravanshi (RJD), senior JVM member Amit Kumar Mahto and Ajsu leader Arup Chatterjee.
Former IPS officers Nandu Prasad and Manoj Mishra also stepped into the party.
Former chief minister Arjun Munda welcomed them in the presence of BJP state president Ravindra Rai and senior leaders like Assembly Speaker C.P. Singh and Palamau MP V.D. Ram.
“It is heartening to see that senior leaders from all parties are steadily joining the BJP. In the coming days, several sitting and former MLAs, especially from Santhal Pargana, are going to join us,” Munda told The Telegraph.
A former minister in the Arjun Munda government, Kishore had won the Chhatarpur Assembly seat in 1980, 1985 and 1995 on Congress tickets. He again clinched the seat in 2000 but as a JD(U) nominee. However, after five years, he returned to the Congress in 2005 and went on become one of its spokespersons. MP V.D. Ram is his brother-in-law.
Chandravanshi, on the other hand, had won the Bishrampur Vidhan Sabha seat in 1990, 1995 and 2000 on erstwhile Janata Dal and RJD tickets. He was also known for his closeness to RJD president Lalu Prasad.
“I took this decision (to join BJP) after consulting my supporters and well-wishers. The entire country is now looking upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the BJP with great expectations. The RJD and its so-called secular allies have become directionless,” Chandravanshi said.
JVM’s Amit Mahto had contested the Silli Assembly seat in 2009, putting up a tough fight against Ajsu president Sudesh Mahto.
But not all the new members have a clean past. A former scribe with the electronic media, Arup Chatterjee, who has his own television news channel now, found his name dragged into the income tax raids in the money laundering scam involving former chief minister Madhu Koda.
A few days ago, an automobile dealer in Dhanbad had lodged an FIR against him, accusing him of taking an SUV without paying.