Ranchi: A faction of Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) merged with the BJP here today even as senior BJP leader Arjun Munda appealed to JVM(P) president Babulal Marandi to join the saffron party.
The faction led by KP Sharma that included five MLAs and scores of party supporters was embraced by Munda, BJP`s national general secretary Bhupendra Yadav and party`s state unit president Ravindra Rai at the party office here.
Five JVM MLAs - Samresh Singh, Chandrika Mahata, Jaiprakash Bhokta, Nirbhay Sahabadi and Phoolchand Mandal - were welcomed into the BJP as the faction merged with it.
All the MLAs had earlier joined in the presence of BJP`s national president Amit Shah in Delhi.
Also appealing to Marandi to join BJP "as it is not a fight between individuals," Munda, a former Jharkhand chief minister said the need of the hour was to take the country to the pinnacle of development in the world and making Jharkhand prosperous.
Attacking the Congress for "giving a scam-prone government" for 10 years, BJP`s national general secretary Yadav said under the leadership of Modi, the country was well on the path of development.
Hitting back at the BJP and Munda, JVM`s principal general secretary Pradip Yadav alleged that, "The BJP is hoodwinking the people by interpreting a few people joining it as JVM`s merge into the BJP."
"But it`s not the reality. Babulal Marandi and our JVM is intact, strong and is preparing to contest all the 81 seats in the upcoming elections," Yadav said.
"The BJP says it is strong. Then why it is taking borrowed players (leaders from other parties)," asked Yadav.
BJP`s in-charge for Jharkhand affairs Binod Pandey, who was also present on the occasion, indirectly took a swipe at Marandi, saying time would come when Marandi would be left alone.
Marandi, who led the BJP coalition government in Jharkhand between November 2000 and March 2002 before being succeeded by Munda, had quit the party in 2006 and floated JVM. His party won 11 seats in the 2009 Assembly elections, making it one of the few known regional entities in the state.
Samresh Singh, the MLA who joined the BJP now, was one of the dissident ministers who pulled down Marandi government then. Singh joined the JVM in 2009 and got elected in the polls.