Jharkhand gets first non-tribal chief minister

Tribal people protest swearing in of non-tribal chief minister; Raghubar Das announces sops for Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups

By Alok Gupta
Published: Monday 29 December 2014


After Bharatiya Janata Party’s decisive victory in Jharkhand, Raghubar Das was sworn-in as the first non-tribal chief minister of the state on Sunday amid protests by tribal groups.

There was widespread speculation that Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) decision to crown a non-tribal as the chief minister of Jharkhand would lead to massive protests. But the two-day bandh called by Sarna Prathna Sabha, an umbrella body of 16 tribal organisations, failed to evoke much response from people.

The new chief minister convened a cabinet meeting barely few hours after the swearing-in ceremony at Mohrabadi Ground in Ranchi.

Das announced corruption-free governance and social security pension scheme for Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups, widows and the elderly. He also announced creation of district-level complaint redressal cell.

Three Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLAs, Louis Marandi, Neelkanth Munda, CP Singh and one MLA from AJSU Party, Chandra Prakash Choudhary, also took oath as ministers.
Tribal politicians lose

Das became a strong contender for the post of chief minister after Arjun Munda lost elections. Munda was chief minister thrice. Babulal Marandi of Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantrik), the first chief minister of Jharkhand, also lost election from Giridih and Dhanwar. Madhu Koda, who had a controversial stint as the chief minister, also lost in the election. Hemant Soren who contested election from two constituencies lost Dumka seat. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi who was supposed to attend the swearing in tweeted: “Was to travel to Jharkhand to attend the oath taking ceremony of Shri Raghubar Das but am unable to do so due to weather conditions.”

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