The Jharkhand BJP unit is planning to launch a protest against the ruling JMM-Congress-RJD coalition government, if the state Assembly speaker does not announce Babulal Marandi as the Leader of Opposition (LoP) by March 12. Marandi was elected as the Opposition leader after his party Jharkhand Vikas Morcha aligned with the BJP. The JVM leader's appointment has not yet been approved by Ravindra Nath Mahto as he has asked for more time to explore all possible legalities in the matter.
Accused Mahto of following the party line, BJP state unit spokesperson Prayaul Shahdev said, "The speaker should understand that he is not the party's premium member anymore. He is a speaker and must act beyond the party line."
"We have given a date of March 12 to declare Babulal Marandi as the LoP. If it does not happen, we will launch a massive protest across the State. Effigies will also be burnt," she added.
The ongoing budget session of the Assembly which began from February 28, has been witnessing ruckus over the issue on multiple occasions and has also been suspended various times.
Meanwhile, the Congress party has slammed the BJP for creating an unnecessary issue. Reacting to the matter, Congress spokesperson Alok Dubey said, "The country values the Constitution and law. Speaker has sought time. The decision on LoP will be in accordance with the Constitution and procedures. If BJP, despite this assurance, is planning for protest, let it stage the protest."
Earlier on March 4, BJP MLA Anant Kumar Ojha had informed the Chair that the party has elected Babulal Marandi as its legislative party leader. With the BJP being the largest opposition party, the announcement in this regard should be made at the earliest, he demanded. "The House is incomplete without a Leader of the Opposition. So we urge you to make the announcement," Ojha said.
(With inputs from ANI)