Ranchi: After having lost the Jharkhand Assembly election and having got enough hints that a non-tribal is most likely to become the chief minister of the state for the first time, Arjun Munda of the BJP is learnt to be now bargaining for the deputy chief minister's post for his camp.
Sources said Arjun Munda, who lost the Assembly election from Kharsawa constituency, is pushing for Khunti MLA Neelkanth Singh Munda and Gumla MLA Shivshankar Oraon for the deputy chief minister's post. Both these BJP MLAs defeated JMM candidates.
The sources said besides the names of Neelkanth Singh Munda and Shivshankar Oraon, Arjun Munda has recommended the name of Louis Marandi, who defeated former chief minister Hemant Soren in Dumka, for a significant assignment. "Arjun Munda wants one of them as deputy chief minister and the other to get a heavyweight portfolio like home or finance," the sources said.
Arjun Munda is likely to be assigned a role in the national politics. However, the former chief minister's primary aim still remains to push for a tribal leader as the chief minister of Jharkhand even though it is almost certain that state vice president of the Bharatiya Janata Party Raghuvar Das will become the next chief minister of Jharkhand.
It is almost decided that Raghubar Das will be the next Chief Minister of Jharkhand. The loss of BJP heavyweights Arjun Munda and another tribal leader JB Tubid means that tribal leader in the BJP-AJSU alliance has enough clout to oppose a non-tribal CM. Sudesh Mahato of All Jharkhand Students Union also lost, making it easier for the BJP to decide on the ministers.
Despite their loss, both Arjun Munda and Mahato can prove to be a big headache for the BJP-led alliance to make appointments for the top post.
Das, who won the Jamshedpur East seat with a huge margin of 70,000 votes, is likely to have an easy time as the BJP failed to win the tribal votes in many areas. However, Munda's supporters do not seem to be in the mood to sit back and will try to extract their pound of flesh.
The BJP's arch rival Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) played up the non-tribal CM issue in Santhal Pargana and Kolhan regions of the state. The party's win in Kolhan is important as the first demand for the creation of Jharkhand in the ealy 1950's was made in the distrcit.
Jharkhand has a total of 28 seats for Scheduled Tribes in the 81-member assembly out of which the BJP won 11 and the JMM won 13 seats. In the results declared on Wednesday, Munda lost the Kharsawan seat and Tubid lost the Chaibasa seat in Kolhan.
BJP won from seven seats in Santhal Parganas but only two of them are Scheduled Tribes' seats.
There is a strong section in the BJP backed by party President Amit Shah who are pushing for a non-tribal CM. While senior party leader CP Singh is also in the race for the CM's post, Das has more appeal in the party.
Shah while congratulating his party members for the success said, "We had promised that a majority government can only help in the development of Jharkhand. We assure that we will work towards the progress of the state."