Former MP Ajoy Kumar (centre) at Congress Bhavan after joining the party in Ranchi on Friday. Picture by Hardeep Singh
Ranchi, Aug. 22: Former JVM MP from Jamshedpur Ajoy Kumar formally joined the Congress fold today to become another high-profile defector from Babulal Marandi’s party, three months after conceding defeat at the hands of the BJP’s Bidyut Baran Mahto in Lok Sabha elections.
Ajoy was greeted by Congress state president Sukhdeo Bhagat, state HRD minister Geetashree Oraon and several other senior leaders.
“In the changed political scenario, the Congress alone is capable of fighting out the BJP and its allies. It is high time for like-minded forces opposed to the BJP to unite,” Ajoy said. “In the coming days, the main fight will be between the Congress and the BJP while small and regional parties will have to choose one of them.”
Welcoming Ajoy to the Congress fold, Bhagat, who compared Ajoy’s joining the Congress to adding sugar to milk, called his party “the oldest political party in the world” and as deep as an ocean and as tall as the Himalayas.
Though he denied Ajoy had been promised a post, the state party chief added that the former MP might get a party ticket for the upcoming Vidhan Sabha elections or Rajya Sabha by-election if the “party high command wished”.
The former top cop-turned-MP said he would honestly shoulder any responsibility the Congress gave him.
On his equation with Marandi, Ajoy said: “I still have a great deal of personal respect for Babulal Marandi. I have no complaint against anyone in the JVM. But, I also can not go against my ideologies. Clipping the wings of the BJP, which has begun to unleash havoc across the country soon after coming to power, is a big challenge. Chief ministers in non-BJP-ruled states are being hooted out in the Prime Minister’s presence at official functions. It is a dangerous trend,” he added.
Yesterday, at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government programme at Prabhat Tara Ground, Ranchi, chief minister Hemant Soren was heckled by a section of the crowds during his speech, an incident the JMM and Congress claimed was orchestrated by the BJP.
Hemant’s Maharashtra and Haryana counterparts Prithviraj Chavan and Bhupinder Singh Hooda of the Congress also suffered similar boos earlier this month.
In the BJP camp, over 40 faculty members belonging to Ranchi University and Vinoba Bhave University joined the party today. BJP state president Ravindra Rai welcomed the new members.