RANCHI: The Jharkhand BJP on Saturday demanded an unconditional apology from former Chief Minister Babulal Marandi for alleging that the party had bribed the legislators of his JVM-P to defect in 2015, and threatened him with a defamation suit.
"Babulal Marandi should publicly apologise for his bribery claim. The BJP will move court and sue him for defaming the party," said Rabindra Rai, BJP Lok Sabha MP and then state BJP president, in a joint press conference with the six legislators.
Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik (JVM-P) President Marandi on Friday met Governor Droupadi Murmu and handed over a memorandum seeking a CBI probe saying Rs 11 crore was paid to his party legislators in February 2015. Marandi submitted a letter to support his claim.
Five of the defected legislators were paid Rs 2 crore each while Amar Bauri was paid Rs 1 crore, he said.
The JVM-P won eight seats in 2014 Assembly polls. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) won 37 and five seats respectively in the 82-member House. Six JVM-P legislators joined the BJP in 2015.
The anti-defection hearing is going in the court of Assembly Speaker Dinesh Oraon. Two of the six legislators, Bauri and Randhir Singh, were made Ministers in the Raghubar Das Ministry.
Marandi said that Rabindra Rai had written a letter to national party president mentioning the bribery amount and defection of the legislators. The BJP termed the letter fake.
Bauri told reporters on Saturday: "We joined the BJP to provide a stable government in the state. Jharkhand has witnessed unstable governments in the past."