RANCHI: Jharkhand will get its first non-tribal chief minister on Sunday when veteran BJP leader Raghubar Das will take oath at the head of a coalition government.
Das, 60 and a five-time legislator from East Jamshedpur, will be the 10th chief minister of Jharkhand. He will take oath at 11 a.m.
The swearing in ceremony will take place at Ranchi's Morabadi ground and is expected to draw tens of thousands of supporters of the Bharatiya Janata Party and its ally, the All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU).
According to BJP sources, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, party president Amit Shah and chief ministers of some BJP-ruled states will attend the event.
After getting elected as the party legislature leader, Das and AJSU leaders met Governor Syed Ahmad at Raj Bhawan at 4 p.m. and staked claim to form a government. Ahmad invited them to form a government.
The AJSU said it would be part of the BJP government.
"We fought the elections together and will form the government as ally," AJSU president Sudesh Mahato told reporters.
Although tribals make up only 27 percent of Jharkhand's population, the state has always had a tribal chief minister. Das will break the cycle.
Das, who became a BJP national vice president in August, has been twice the BJP president in Jharkhand. He became the deputy chief minister in the Shibu Soren government after the 2009 assembly elections.
"Development of Jharkhand is my priority. All sections, including tribals, minorities and others, are on the development agenda," he told the media after being elected the BJP legislature party leader.
That happened in the presence of BJP observers J.P. Nadda and Vinay Sharsabuddhe.
Neelkanth Singh Munda proposed the name of Das, which was seconded by two BJP legislators, C.P. Singh and Saryu Rai.
"The development of the state is my priority," Das said. "The development of all sections of the society will be my priority."
The BJP and AJSU won a simple majority in the 81-member house. The BJP emerged as the single largest party with 37 seats while the AJSU won five seats.
Born Dec 18, 1954 in Jamshedpur, Das has been with the BJP since 1980, the year the party was formed.
A law graduate, Das belongs to a large family and has three brothers and three sisters. He married Rukmani Devi and has a son and a daughter.
He was elected as a legislator for the first time in 1995 from Jamshedpur East to the then Bihar state assembly.
When Jharkhand was carved out of Bihar in 2000, he became labour minister in Babulal Marandi's government. He was a minister in Arjun Munda's government too.