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Former Jharkhand CM & Adivasi Leader Arjun Munda Gets Tribal Affairs Ministry

File photo of Union Minister Arjun Munda.

File photo of Union Minister Arjun Munda.

Attracted to politics since teenage, Munda got involved in the Jharkhand movement in the early 1980s, demanding a separate state for tribals to be carved out of Bihar’s southern, mineral-rich region.

The former Jharkhand chief minister and BJP MP from Khunti, Arjun Munda has been given the Tribal Affairs Ministry.

He won the Khunti (ST) seat after narrowly beating his nearest Congress rival Kalicharan Munda by 1,445 votes.

Munda was born in an economically backward family in Jamshedpur’s Khrangajhar on May 3, 1968.

Attracted to politics since teenage, Munda got involved in the Jharkhand movement in the early 1980s, demanding a separate state for tribals to be carved out of Bihar’s southern, mineral-rich region.

He joined the movement, which vouched for welfare of tribal people and soon became a prominent face of the separate state movement, then spearheaded by the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM).

After joining the tribals' cause, Munda quickly came to the notice of the JMM higher-ups due to his organisational and leadership skills.

His inclusive vision and sincere effort for the cause of a separate state got him a JMM ticket from Kharsawan constituency and he became an MLA in 1995.

In 2000, he contested and won the Assembly election as a BJP candidate from Kharsawan.

He was entrusted with the tribal welfare ministry portfolio, which he handled efficiently, in the first government of Jharkhand formed under the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA).

His position within the party improved progressively and in 2003, Munda was made the chief minister at the age of 35 to ward off the “divisive domicile” policies of Babulal Marandi.

He was second CM of the state and went on to shoulder the responsibility two more times, subsequently.

The first government under his leadership existed from March 18, 2003 to March 2, 2005.

The second term as chief minister lasted from March 12, 2005 to September 14, 2006, while his third term was between September 11, 2000 and January 8, 2013.

first published:May 31, 2019, 13:55 IST