BY RAJNISH SINGH
Ranchi, Dec 23 (IANS) The results in the 2019 Jharkhand Assembly election on Monday again proved that the state Chief Minister’s post is still “jinxed” with none of its holders managing to get a second consecutive term even as incumbent Raghubar Das was trailing in his own stronghold even as his BJP was swept out of the power.
However, Das has earned the distinction of becoming the first Chief Minister of the tribal state, carved out of Bihar in 2000, to complete a full term in power, but in 2019, anti-incumbency, rural distress, resentment over lack of jobs and even a divide within over the choice of poll candidates cost him dear.
Since its inception, Jharkhand has seen 10 Chief Ministers and three terms of President’s rule.
Babulal Marandi, of the Bharatiya Janata Party, became the first Chief Minister on November 15, 2000, but only was in power till March 18, 2003.
The party’s Arjun Munda, who succeeded him, was in power till March 2, 2005. After the 2005 elections, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha founder Shibu Soren occupied the Chief Minister’s chair from March 2 to March 12, 2005 before Munda returned to the post.
However, he was only in power till September 19, 2006, when his government fell, and Independent MLA Madhu Koda became Chief Minister. Koda served till August 27, 2008, before Soren returned as Chief Minister on August 27, 2008 but only served till January 19, 2009, and then President’s Rule was imposed.
Soren returned as Chief Minister on December 30, 2009 but was only in power till June 1, 2010, before President’s Rule was again imposed.
Munda returned as Chief Minister on September 11, 2010 but his third stint was only till January 18, 2013 before President’s rule was again imposed.
JMM’s Hemant Soren, the current CM candidate of grand JMM-Congress-RJD alliance, became the Chief Minister of Jharkhand on July 13, 2013 but demitted office on December 28, 2014 after the defeat in the Assembly elections.
Das then became the first non-tribal Chief Minister of the tribal state.
But, in 2019, his own electoral foray seemed doomed.
Even as the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM)-Congress-Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) alliance swept to a comfortable majority as the BJP lost over 10 seats, Das was trailing in Jamshedpur East seat which he held since 1995 – even while it was part of Bihar.
Till, 8 p.m., Das, who was seeking the sixth consecutive term from his Jamshedpur East seat, was trailing by over 15,000 votes against his former Cabinet colleague and BJP’s rebel Saryu Roy who secured 68,098 votes.
The counting of votes for 81 Jharkhand Assembly seats, which went to polls in five phases from November 30 to December 20, began at 8 a.m. on Monday.
(Rajnish Singh can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)