Salkhan Murmu (second from left) with former chief minister Arjun Munda (to his left) and other BJP leaders in Jamshedpur on Monday. Picture by Bhola Prasad
Jamshedpur, Aug. 18: Two-time MP from Mayurbhanj in Odisha and president of Jharkhand Disom Party (JDP) Salkhan Murmu joined the BJP and merged his tribal outfit with the saffron party in Jamshedpur today.
Murmu, along with his supporters joined the BJP in the presence of former chief minister Arjun Munda and several senior leaders including Sarayu Roy, Dineshanand Goswami and Meneka Sardar at a function held at Ramgariah Hall in Sakchi.
Murmu said he was happy to return to the BJP and promised to devote the rest of his life to spread the party’s message. “I have strong faith in the strong leadership qualities of Narendra Modi and I am confident that his vision will pave the way for better governance in the country,” he noted.
Murmu is the latest in a long line of former political rivals to join the BJP in Jharkhand.
Babulal Marandi’s JVM has seen the most desertions. While senior JVM leader Dulal Bhuiyan joined the BJP at a function in Ranchi on August 10, Sindri MLA Phoolchand Mandal joined earlier.
This apart, four JVM MLAs, namely, Samresh Singh (Bokaro), Jai Prakash Singh Bhokta (Simaria), Chandrika Mahatha (Jamua) and Nirbhaya Kumar Shahabadi (Giridih) joined last month.
Munda claimed some more disgruntled JVM leaders were in touch with the BJP and were likely to join the party on August 20, a day before Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s proposed visit to Ranchi.
These MLAs, he told The Telegraph, belonged to the Samresh Singh faction.
“We have received letters in this regard from the disgruntled JVM leaders. It is an important development in state politics,” Munda said, but refused to divulge more.
Murmu had recently met Union petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who is also in-charge of party affairs in Jharkhand, and Munda after which he took the decision to merge his party with the BJP.
Murmu, who was earlier with the BJP, snapped ties with it in mid-2000. He floated JDP to advocate the cause of tribals. He became an MP in 1998 on a BJP ticket. But in August 2007, he lost the Jamshedpur by-election as a Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) candidate.