Other States

It’s Raghuvar in Jharkhand

Raghuvar Das,  

Raghuvar Das, a five-time MLA, was on Friday elected leader of the BJP legislature party clearing the decks for his swearing in as Jharkhand's first non-tribal Chief Minister.

Mr. Das, MLA from Jamshedpur (East) and a BJP national vice-president, was elected legislature party leader in the presence of two central observers J P Nadda and Vinay Sahastrabuddhe.

In the evening Mr Das met the Governor Syed Ahmed and staked his party's claim to form the government. He is likely to take oath as the state’s 10th Chief Minister on December 28 even as some tribal organisations staged a protest and declared that a non-tribal would “not be tolerated” as CM of a tribal state.

Earlier, in the legislature party meeting his name was proposed by Neelkanth Munda and seconded by two party leaders Saryu Rai and C P Singh, who also were seen as contenders for the CM's post. Party sources told The Hindu that Mr Rai, MLA from Jamshedpur (West), is likely to be the Assembly Speaker.

At least 12 ministers, including two from BJP's alliance partner All-Jharkhand Students' Union, are likely to take oath along with Mr. Das. Party leaders also indicated that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to be present at the swearing-in ceremony on Sunday.

Also expected to take oath on Sunday are Louis Marandi, who defeated JMM leader and former chief minister Hemant Soren from Dumka, C P Singh, Birenchi Marandi and Kamal Kishore Bhagat and Chandra Prakash Chaudhury (both from AJSU).

Mr Das, who originally hails from neighboring Chhattisgarh, has been a Tata Steel employee and later entered into politics. He has been the state's Urban Development Minister and also a Deputy chief Minister.

After being elected leader of the BJPLP, Mr Das said forming a transparent government with good governance in the state will be his first priority. His would be “an accountable government which will work for the employment driven development of the state, and which will have zero tolerance on corruption,” he declared.

Mr. Das's name has been doing the rounds for chief ministership since results to the Assembly elections were declared on Tuesday in which the BJP-AJSU combine got 42 seats in a House of 81.

This will be the first time that Jharkhand will have a non-tribal chief minister, and a majority government, since the state's formation in 2000. It has seen nine government and three stints of President’s rule in the last 14 years.

Meanwhile, several tribal organisations voiced their protest over a non-tribal CM for the state. The Adivasis Sangharsha Morcha and Rashtriya Sarna Samiti shouted slogans and displayed placards while demanding that only a tribal be made Chief Minister of a tribal state like Jharkhand, even though no prominent tribal leader could be seen in the protest march.

In Patna former Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar said the BJP has set a wrong precedent by electing a non-tribal as chief minister of the state.

“Jharkhand was created in 2000 on the issue of tribal sensibilities and representation and since then there have been tribal chief ministers there. But now as the BJP has broken that tradition it seems they no longer have any faith in tribal community,” Mr Kumar said. ​

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2021 12:35:37 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/raghuvar-das-to-be-first-nontribal-chief-minister-of-jharkhand/article6727729.ece

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