Babulal Marandi (Hindi pronunciation: [Bābulāl maraṇḍi]; born 11 January 1958) is an Indian politician of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). He was the first Chief Minister of Jharkhand and current Leader of the Opposition in the Jharkhand Legislative Assembly. He was the founder and national President of Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik). He was the Member of Parliament in 12th, 13th 14th and 15th Lok Sabha from Jharkhand. He was the Union State Minister (MoS) for Forests & Environment of India in the BJP – led National Democratic Alliance Government in 1998 to 2000.
|Leader of the Opposition|
Jharkhand Legislative Assembly
|Assumed office |
24 February 2020
|Chief Minister||Hemant Soren|
|Preceded by||Hemant Soren|
|1st Chief Minister of Jharkhand|
15 November 2000 – 17 March 2003
|Preceded by||Office established|
|Succeeded by||Arjun Munda|
|President of Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik)|
September 2006 – February 2020
|Preceded by||Office established|
|Succeeded by||Office abolished|
|Member of Jharkhand Legislative Assembly|
|Assumed office |
|Preceded by||Raj Kumar Yadav|
|Succeeded by||Chandra Prakash Choudhary|
|Minister of state for Environment and Forests|
19 March 1998 – 7 November 2000
|Prime Minister||Atal Bihari Vajpayee|
|Minister||T. R. Baalu|
|Member of Parliament, Lok Sabha|
|Preceded by||Tilakdhari Singh|
|Succeeded by||Ravindra Kumar Ray|
|Preceded by||Shibu Soren|
|Succeeded by||Shibu Soren|
|Born||11 January 1958|
(now in Jharkhand), India
|Political party||Bharatiya Janata Party|
(till 2006), (2020 – present)
|Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik)|
(2006 – 2020)
|Alma mater||Ranchi University|
Babulal was born in a remote Kodia Bandh village under Tisri block of Giridih district of the now Jharkhand province. He belongs to Santal family. After passing high school, he moved to Giridih College from where he did his intermediate and graduation. It was there that he came in contact with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh.
Later, he moved to Ranchi where he did his post-graduation in Geography from Ranchi University. He worked as a teacher in a village primary school for a year before giving up the job to work for the Sangh Parivar. He served as the organising secretary of the Jharkhand region of Vishva Hindu Parishad.
In 1983, he moved to Dumka and worked in the Santhal Pargana division, which he toured extensively and where he became close to Bishnu Prasad Bhaiya, his then companion and there he used to spend some time at his Jamtara Residence but mainly he used to live in the RSS office in Dumka. And after that his journey to Ranchi and then Delhi began.
In 1991, the Bharatiya Janata Party gave him the ticket to contest from the Dumka (Lok Sabha constituency), but he lost. In 1996, he lost to Shibu Soren by just 5,000 odd votes. The BJP, in the meantime, made him president of the party's Jharkhand unit.
It was under Marandi's leadership that the party won 12 out of 14 Lok Sabha seats in Jharkhand region in the 1998 election. Marandi, a Santal, led the tally by defeating Jharkhand Mukti Morcha leader Shibu Soren, another Santhal.
After bifurcation of Bihar in 2000 in states of Bihar and Jharkhand, NDA came to power in Jharkhand with Marandi as the 1st Chief Minister of Jharkhand. Political analysts believe that this government initiated many developmental schemes in the state, the most visible being, improvement of the road network in the state.
He also put forward the idea to develop Greater Ranchi to reduce the crowding in the city. However, Marandi's tenure proved rather short-lived, as he had to resign and make way for Arjun Munda for the post in 2003 following pressure exerted by coalition allies primarily Janata Dal United.
Thereafter, he increasing moved away from political mainstage of Jharkhand irrespective of NDA being in power in Ranchi. In the 2004 Lok Sabha Elections, he contested from Kodarma Lok Sabha constituency as a BJP candidate. He won the seat while all the other sitting MPs of NDA from Jharkhand including union ministers Yashwant Sinha and Reeta Verma lost their respective seats. His differences with the state leadership continued to increase and he even started criticising the state government in public.
Marandi resigned from both the Kodarma seat and the primary membership of the BJP in 2006 and floated a new political outfit named Jharkhand Vikas Morcha. He was followed by 5 MLAs of the BJP. In the subsequent by-elections for the Kodarma seat, he contested as an independent candidate and emerged victoriously.
Marandi, who was the incumbent MP from Kodarma, contested the elections on Jharkhand Vikas Morcha ticket in the 2009 general election, and retained the seat. But in the Narendra Modi wave of 2014, Marandi's party failed to win any seat in the state as BJP won 12 out of 14 seats; from Koderma, BJP's Ravindra Kumar Ray was elected to Lok Sabha.
In February 2020, he merged JVM into BJP.
Marandi merged Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik) with the BJP on February 17, 2020, at Jagannathpur Maidan, Ranchi in presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP president Jagat Prakash Nadda and former Chief Ministers of Jharkhand Arjun Munda and Raghubar Das.