Das sworn-in as J’khand CM, heads coalition govt

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Ranchi: BJP leader Raghubar Das was today sworn-in as the new Chief Minister of Jharkhand at the head of a five-member BJP-Ajsu coalition government, becoming the first non-tribal leader to rule the state.

Governor Syed Ahmed administered the oath of office and secrecy to 59-year-old Das at the Birsa Munda Football Stadium here.

Nilkanth Singh Munda, Chandreswar Prasad Singh, Louis Marandi (all BJP) and Chandraprakash Choudhary (Ajsu party) were also sworn-in as Cabinet Ministers.

Jharkhand has a maximum limit of 12 ministers, including the Chief Minister.

Dense fog in New Delhi led Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP President Amit Shah to cancel their visit to Jharkhand to attend the ceremony.

Das, a National Vice President of the party, became the tenth Chief Minister after Babulal Marandi (once), Arjun Munda (thrice), Shibu Soren (thrice), Madhu Koda (once) and Hemant Soren (once) in 14 years after Jharkhand was created.

After being elected as the BJP’s Legislature Party leader on Friday, Das had staked claim to form government on December 26 at the head of BJP-Asju alliance.

Das joined BJP as a worker and then gradually rose through party ranks before getting the first break when he was nominated as party candidate from Jamshedpur (East) in the 1995 Assembly polls in undivided Bihar. He went on to win the seat five times.

He became a Minister for the first time after the creation of Jharkhand in the Babulal Marandi government and got berths in the subsequent two governments led by Arjun Munda before becoming the Deputy Chief Minister in the Shibu Soren-led government in 2009.

He held portfolios of Finance, Labour and Urban Development during his stint as Cabinet Minister.

This is the first time that BJP, along with its pre-poll ally Ajsu, has got an absolute majority in 81-member state Assembly.

While BJP has 37 members, AJSU has five, taking their total tally to 42.

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