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Another JVM leader quits

Ranchi, Aug. 6: The JVM received a fresh blow today when former deputy mayor of Ranchi Ajay Nath Shahdeo resigned from the party and announced he would join the BJP, thus adding to the list of turncoats.

Shahdeo, who unsuccessfully contested the Hatia by-election on a JVM ticket two years back, blamed lack of democracy within Babulal Marandi’s party as the reason for his resignation. He is likely to formally sign up with the BJP tomorrow. “Very likely, I will formally join the party tomorrow. It will be a low-key affair,” he told The Telegraph.

The former deputy mayor further said that all wasn’t well at the organisational level in the JVM. “With time, you need to accept change and accommodate issues for the larger good of people and overall growth. That vision is lacking in the party (JVM). We are here to work for people, for social cause and politics is a platform through which you can contribute,” he said.

He also complained that core functionaries of the JVM were of the view that they were bigger than the party.

“Party can never be person-centric,” Shahdeo said.

Asked whether he was expecting an easy fortune by joining hands with the BJP ahead of the Assembly elections, he said: “Not at all. Those who know me would appreciate that there were times when I had walked against the tide too. I am joining without preconditions,” he said, adding the Congress offered him a ticket too, but he turned it down.

Perceived to be one of the cleanest regional parties, JVM ran into rough weather after five out of its 11 MLAs recently announced their intention to join the BJP. They are Samresh Singh (Bokaro), Nirbhaya Kumar Shahabadi (Giridih), Chandrika Mahtha (Jamua), Jai Prakash Singh Bhokta (Simaria) and Phulchand Mandal (Sindri).

Some more MLAs are expected to follow in their footsteps, thus threatening the very existence of JVM before the state polls. Samresh Singh has even gone to the extent of claiming that they constitute the “original JVM”.

Jharkhand Assembly Speaker S.S. Bhokta, however, has given 15-day time to the turncoats to explain their position under the anti-defection law.