The Jharkhand unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party has threatened to file a defamation suit against former Chief Minister Babulal Marandi for alleging that the BJP had bribed legislators of his Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik to defect in 2015, IANS reported on Saturday.
“Babulal Marandi should publicly apologise for his bribery claim,” BJP MP Rabindra Rai told reporters at a press conference. “The BJP will move court and sue him for defaming the party.”
On Friday, Marandi alleged that the BJP had lured six MLAs of Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik by paying them Rs 11 crore after the state Assembly elections in 2014, according to The Times of India. Marandi produced a copy of a letter written by Rai to BJP President Amit Shah, informing that Rs 11 crore was paid in total to legislators Ganesh Ganjhu, Randhir Kumar Singh, Naveen Jaiswal, Amar Kumar Bauri, Alok Kumar Chaurasia and Janki Prasad Yadav.
In the copy of the letter, Rai allegedly states that the remaining money will be paid to the legislators by Chief Minister Raghubar Das within 36 months after they become BJP members.
In the 2014 Assembly elections, Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik won eight seats, while the Bharatiya Janata Party and All Jharkhand Students’ Union won 37 and five seats respectively in the 82-member House. The six Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik legislators, who were named by Marandi, defected to the BJP in February 2015 to become a part of the coalition government.