Jharkhand BJP chief resigned after speaking ‘against’ own party

Tala Marandi’s resignation as Jharkhand BJP chief just 13 weeks after his appointment has a lot to do with his criticism of his own government over proposed changes in the laws safeguarding tribal land rights, analysts said.
The Santhal leader — who represents the Borio assembly constituency — was replaced by Lakshman Gilua, another tribal leader who represents the Chaibasa constituency in the Lok Sabha. The resignation came after a string of controversies involving Marandi, including charges of sexual exploitation against his son. A statement issued by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said Marandi’s resignation, submitted on August 11, has been accepted and Gilua has replaced him. Marandi comes from the Santhal Pargana. He was the first Santhal tribal to be appointed state BJP chief, a move by the party to counter the main opposition party Jharkhand Mukti Morcha. JMM is perceived to be most representative of Jharkhand’s tribal population and Santhal Pargana is considered a JMM bastion. Marandi was to play a role in bridging the gap between the government and the tribal people, especially when the state is headed by a first-time non-tribal chief minister, Raghubar Das.
Party sources said Raghubar Das was unhappy with Marandi’s functioning and had conveyed this to the BJP’s central leaders. The central leadership went with Das and opted to replace the controversial tribal leader with another who belongs to the Kolhan region.
Marandi first landed in trouble for allegedly marrying his son Munna Marandi to a minor girl. The bride was reportedly selected in haste after another girl lodged a police complaint alleging that Munna had sexually exploited her. The original fiance backed out after the sexual exploitation charge was levelled against the Marandis.
The controversy had not fully died down when Marandi joined the opposition in criticising Raghubar Das’s government over proposed changes in the Chotanagpur Tenancy (CNT) Act and Santhal Pargana Tenancy (SPT) Act through an Ordinance sent to the President for approval.

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