Shri Laxman Gilua
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)
State President, Jharkhand BJP, Ranchi, Jharkhand
BJP’s West Singhbhum (Scheduled Tribe) Member of Parliament, Laxman Gilua, has been appointed as the new Jharkhand BJP chief. An announcement to this effect was made on Wednesday in New Delhi by the BJP central leadership.
Gilua (45) will take over after Tala Marandi, who had resigned on August 11, following controversies and a virtual open rebellion against him within the state unit.
The letter issued by national general secretary, Arun Kumar Singh, in New Delhi, said: “The Party president has accepted the resignation of Tala Marandi and has appointed Laxman Gilua as the Jharkhand BJP chief. The decision will come into effect immediately.”
Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das was among the first ones to congratulate Gilua saying his appointment would take the Party to new heights in the state.
According to BJP sources, the central leadership has again put its faith on a tribal leader, despite the fact that Marandi, the first tribal BJP chief in the state, got embroiled in more than one controversy. The name of a couple of other tribal leaders, including Sudarshan Bhagat, a union minister of State, was also doing the rounds.
Gilua had won from West Singhbhum in the Lok Sabha polls of 2014, defeating Geeta Koda, wife of former Chief Minister Madhu Koda. He won by a handsome margin of over 87,000 votes. At that point, he was also BJP MLA from Chakradharpur. Gilua could not be contacted despite efforts.
Gilua’s appointment comes at a time when the Party’s attempt to elevate a tribal leader, Marandi, to the top post had got embroiled in several controversies.
Marandi, MLA from Borio in Santhal Paragana region, was appointed as state BJP chief on May 17. The surprise elevation was explained by the Party as an attempt to increase the presence of the BJP in Santhal Paragana – a backward region dominated by the presence of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM), the main opposition party.
However, within a couple of months, Marandi got embroiled in controversy following allegations that his son had sexually abused a minor. Further, when Marandi got his son married to another girl, he was accused of marrying him to a minor girl. A suit, naming Marandi, his son and the father of the girl, was also filed in the civil court. However, the Party had defended him over the issue.
Earlier this month, however, Marandi announced his executive team through a WhatsApp message on a Sunday evening, leading to resignations and protests among the rank and file of the state unit. Further, Marandi also gave statements that were seen as being opposed to what the state government was planning on the issues of tribal tenancy Acts – Chhotanagpur Tenancy Act and Santhal Paragana Tenancy Act.