Arjun Munda of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on 11.09.2010 took oath as the eighth chief minister of Jharkhand at the head of a coalition government with the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha. Mr. Munda was administered the oath of office by Governor M.O.H. Farook at Raj Bhavan.
BJP national president Nitin Gadkari and senior leader L.K. Advani were not present at the function. Former BJP chief Rajnath Singh attended as did BJP chief ministers Raman Singh and Ramesh Pokhriyal of Chhattisgarh and Uttarakhand respectively.
Arjun Munda once again at helm of affairs
Arjun Munda, who joined the BJP 12 years ago after quitting the JMM, is in his third stint as chief minister of mineral-rich Jharkhand in alliance with Shibu Soren’s party.
Mr. Munda, who along with his supporters prevailed over the BJP’s central leadership to take JMM’s support again in forming the government despite the earlier bitter experience, is the eighth chief minister of the state.
A graduate in social science, the 42-year-old tribal leader was with the All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) before joining the JMM and winning the Kharsawan Assembly seat on its ticket in 1995.
Three years later he switched over to the BJP and retained his seat on a saffron ticket in the 2000 Assembly elections held in undivided Bihar.
He became the Tribal Welfare Minister in the first Babulal Marandi-led NDA coalition after Jharkhand was carved out from Bihar on November 15, 2000.
He replaced Marandi, whose government fell on the floor of the house in March 2003 after seven ministers from the coalition parties crossed the floor.
Mr. Munda led the NDA in the 2005 Assembly elections with the coalition securing 36 seats in the 81-member house, but had to wait a fortnight before forcing the 9-day-old Shibu Soren government out of office through a legal battle.
After securing the chief minister’s chair on March 13, 2005 he lost it to Madhu Koda, an independent, 18 months later.
Mr. Munda, who did not contest the 2009 Assembly elections after winning from Jamshedpur Lok Sabha seat in May, will have to win a bypoll to enter the house within six months. He has won thrice from the Kharsawan Assembly seat since 1995. Mr. Munda is an avid golfer and is also interested in archery.
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