The BJP Central leadership has decided to appoint Jamshedpur MP Arjun Munda (42) as next chief minister of Jharkhand, with support of its allies- JMM, AJSU Party and JD (U). The four-party coalition has strength of 44 in 82-member Assembly.
Sources in the BJP said, the party’s central leadership cleared the name of Munda for the post of CM after a marathon meeting of its top central leaders in New Delhi on Friday night.
Munda’s name was to be officially announced by the BJP on Saturday, but it was deferred for the next two/ three days due to sudden death of former vice-president Bhairo Singh Shekhawat this morning. In the meantime, Munda has been asked by the central leadership to ensure support of all JMM legislators, especially disgruntled one, for smooth sail during the likely floor test in the Assembly.
Sources also revealed that the both the main allies- the BJP and the JMM- have agreed to share the chair of CM for 28-28 months on rotation basis. The JMM has also accepted the demand of BJP to rule the state in the first phase of 28 month.
Sources also said, the JMM Supremo and present CM Sibu Soren (66) would soon resign from the post and pave way for swearing-in of Munda as the eighth chief minister of state. If Soren resign as per the agreement, it would be third term for Munda as the CM. Munda was earlier CM from March 2003 to February 2005 and February 2005 to September 2006.
Munda began his political career under the very leadership of Sibu Soren. He first became MLA from Kharsawan seat in 1995 in united Bihar on a JMM ticket. But he switched the party in 1988 and joined BJP. He won the Kharsawan seat for second term in 2000 on a BJP ticket and became CM in March 2003, after resignation of Jharkhand’s first CM Babulal Marandi.