Raghubar Das to be First Non-Tribal Chief Minister of Jharkhand

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BJP leader Raghubar Das being welcomed by supporters after his arrival in Ranchi on Wednesday (Press Trust of India photo)


Ranchi:  BJP leader Raghubar Das will be the next chief minister of Jharkhand, the first non-tribal leader in the state to hold the post. The decision was taken unanimously at a meeting of the party's newly-elected lawmakers in state capital Ranchi. He will be sworn in as the chief minister on Sunday.

The BJP and its ally, the All Jharkhand Students' Union, had won the state polls, winning 42 seats in the 81-member assembly.

"Will bring development and good governance to Jharkhand... I want to thank everyone for this opportunity," Mr Das, a five-time legislator from East Jamshedpur said.

The 59-year-old, a former deputy chief minister and BJP vice president, had been touted a frontrunner for the top job especially after three-time former chief minister Arjun Munda, considered the tallest tribal leader of the party, lost the elections from his stronghold Kharsawan. (Read more...) Another former chief minister from the party, Babulal Marandi, who quit to form the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha, is also a tribal leader.

Hence, the BJP is reportedly considering a tribal leader as deputy chief minister to placate the community which comprises around 32 per cent of Jharkhand's population. Neelkanth Munda and Shiv Shankar Urav, sources say, are the likely contenders for the post. Mr Munda, sources add, is likely to be appointed a national vice president of the party.

Two senior BJP leaders, Health Minister JP Nadda and Vinay Sahasrabuddhe, were the observers at today's legislature party meeting to oversee the election of the new chief minister.

Jharkhand has had nine governments and three stints of President's Rule since it was created in 2000.

In its election campaign, the BJP had promised a stable government in the state. It did not project a chief ministerial candidate and built its campaign around Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his development agenda. The PM had addressed several rallies in the state.


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