Ranchi: After 14 years since Jharkhand was carved out of Bihar on the question of a distinct tribal identity, the state is set to get its first non-tribal chief minister. The Bharatiya Janata Party legislative party on Friday elected Raghubar Das as its leader paving way for him to be Jharkhand's next Chief Minister.
Soon after the announcement, Das thanked people of Jharkhand for showing confidence in him. "I assure you that I will work whole heartedly for the development of Jharkhand and fight against corruption."
The party, which has an absolute majority in the 81-member Jharkand Assembly along with its ally All Jharkhand Students Union Party, will now claim the stake to form its fifth and the 10th government of Jharkhand.
Das, who won the Jamshedpur East seat with a huge margin of 70,000 votes, will be the first non-tribal Chief Minister of the state which has seen five people from the tribal community occupying the top spot in the state.
A strong section of the BJP backed by party President Amit Shah had pushed for a non-tribal CM in the state. The BJP won in 37 constituencies while the AJSU bagged five seats. Das's elevation was made easier after former chief minister Arjun Munda lost from Kharsawan seat.
Das began his career as a labourer in Tata Steel. Basically from Chhattisgarh, Das was born and brought up in Jamshedpur where his father late Chavan Ram worked with the Tata Steel plant. He did his schooling and college in Jamshedpur and joined the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad. Later he joined the BJP in 1980 and was elected as the state BJP chief twice.
A five-time MLA from Jamshedpur East, he became a minister in the Jharkhand government for the first time in 2000 and served as the Deputy CM in the Shibu Soren government in 2009.
He was one of 10 national vice-presidents appointed by Amit Shah after the latter took charge as the BJP chief in August 2014.