Raghubar Das sworn in as Jharkhand CM

Raghubar Das sworn in as Jharkhand CM

Senior BJP leader Raghubar Das was sworn in as Jharkhand’s 10th chief minister here on Sunday.

Four other legislators — Neel Kanth Munda, C P Singh, Chandra Prakash Choudhary and Louis Marandi — took oath as ministers at a simple function organised on the sprawling campus of Birsa Munda Football Stadium.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh, who were scheduled to attend the swearing-in, could not fly to Ranchi due to inclement weather.

Das started his work and held a Cabinet meeting with his four ministers soon after the oath-taking ceremony, which was attended by Union ministers Venkaiah Naidu, Nitin Gadkari and senior leader Sushil Modi.

Das is the sixth person to become the chief minister of Jharkhand which was formed in November 2000. The tribal-dominated state has seen five leaders in the chief minister’s post in nine governments in the last 14 years. While Arjun Munda and Shibu Soren each have become the chief minister thrice, Babulal Marandi, Madhu Koda and Hemant Soren each have been the chief minister once. Hemant, who attended the swearing in function, gave a warm hug to the new chief minister, thereby putting the bitter acrimony between the BJP and the JMM (seen during poll campaign) on the back-burner.

Das, who had earlier served as the state’s deputy chief minister (when Shibu Soren of the JMM was the chief minister), on Sunday showed his political acumen when he gave due representation to all sections in his new Cabinet. Neelkanth Munda, who won from Khunti, represents the tribals; Louis Marandi, a Christian, represents women and minorities. Louis, a professor at S P College in Santhal Pargana, defeated former chief minister Hemant Soren from Dumka.

Similarly, former Assembly Speaker C P Singh, a Rajput, has been inducted into the Cabinet to keep the upper caste electorate, which stood by the BJP, in good humour.

The fourth minister, Chandra Prakash Choudhary, is a nominee of All Jharkhand Students’ Union (AJSU), which contested Assembly polls in alliance with the BJP. Since AJSU chief Sudesh Mahto lost from Silli, Choudhary, the MLA from Ramgarh, was chosen to fill the AJSU quota.

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