Ranchi: It was a bumper Diwali gift to the BJP in Jharkhand when five MLAs from the opposition camp and some retired IAS and IPS officers joined the party on Wednesday. Polling for the Jharkhand Assembly is scheduled for next month.
AICC secretary Arun Oraon, former president of Jharkhand Pradesh Congress Sukhdeo Bhagat, sitting MLA and chief whip of Congress Manoj Yadav, chief whip of JMM Kunal Sarangi, former health minister and president of Naujawan Sangharsh Morcha Bhanu Pratap Shahi, Independent MLA Ms Nirmla Devi joined the BJP along with their supporters.
Two IAS officers, who sought VRS to contest the elections Ms Suchitra Sinha and R P Sinha, former director general of police D K Pandey also joined BJP in the presence of chief minister Raghuwar Das who said more civil servants and opposition legislators were in the queue.
A former minister and senior JMM leader from Ramgarh Jaiprakash Patel said there was no prospect for the opposition in the upcoming elections. Sukhdeo Bhagat said the Congress has no future in Jharkhand any more.
Bhanu Pratap Shahi who was jailed on charges of corruption following investigations by the CBI and ED, too, joined the ruling party claiming only BJP can provide a clean government.
Former Jharkhand Pradesh Congress Committee president Ajay Kumar last week joined the AAP. Former RJD state president Ms Anapoorna Yadav had joined the BJP and contested the Lok Sabha elections in May. Her successor Gautam Sagar Rana remained in the RJD for two weeks only.
State Congress chief Rameshwar Oraon regretted the desertion by two senior party leaders and called them opportunists.
The BJP election campaign is in full swing with the chief minister scheduled to address over 100 public meetings during his Jan Aashirwad Yatra. Congress is yet to launch its campaign. Chhattisgarh chief minisetr Bhupesh Baghel addressed a meeting of party workers at Jamtara on Tuesday.