Five-time MLA and BJP national vice-president Raghubar Das was elected Jharkhand's first non-tribal chief minister Friday, three days after his party's victory in the assembly elections.
At the meeting to elect the legislative party leader, Das' name was proposed by Khunti MLA Neelkanth Singh Munda and supported by legislators Saryu Rai and CP Singh.
Central observer JP Nadda made the official announcement at the BJP office in Ranchi. “I congratulate him and expect that the BJP alliance will now provide good governance in the state. He will fulfil the Prime Minister's mantra Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas."
After his name was announced, Das said the government’s first priority would be to provide a good, corruption-free government. “Our government will work for the upliftment of downtrodden and wholesome development of the state."
The poll results on Tuesday gave the BJP and its ally AJSU Party 42 seats, a simple majority in the House of 81 elected members.
This is the first time a pre-poll coalition has reached the majority mark in the tribal-dominated state which has witnessed nine governments and three stints of President's rule since its inception in 2000.
Das said the government’s first priority would be to provide good and corruption-free governance. “Our government will work for the upliftment of downtrodden and wholesome development of the state.” Das said, adding he would meet the aspirations of the people.
Das will now meet the governor of Jharkhand to stake claim to the new government. He will take oath by Sunday (December 28), well ahead of the expiry of the outgoing government's term on January 3, 2015.
Former chief minster Arjun Munda was also present at Friday's meeting as a special invitee.
Das' anointment was almost certain after powerful tribal leader Munda pulled out of the race for chief minister.
Munda, a former chief minister, was a surprise loser in the polls, conceding defeat from his stronghold Kharswan.
The only hurdle in Das' path was Munda himself, given their thorny relationship over the years, a source said.
Aware of the fact that Munda could spoil his party, Das had called on the former chief minister thrice after the results were announced.
Sources said that the leadership may try to placate Munda by offering him a post in the central organisation or giving him a Rajya Sabha berth.
Hemant Soren, who led the 15-month-old UPA government, resigned as chief minister on Tuesday after his party - the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) - ended well short of the target with just 18 seats.
Video:Quick facts about Das