Tuesday, March 2, 2021
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Raghubar Das: A worker who rose to become CM of Jharkhand with his ‘grit of steel’

Jamshedpur : Starting his political career as an activist of the student movement initiated by Loknayak Jaiprakash Narayan in 1976-77 and having worked as a labourer in Tata Steel, Raghubar Das has come a long way to take over as the first non-tribal Chief Minister of Jharkhand.

Das joined the BJP as a worker and then gradually rose through the party ranks before getting the first break when he was nominated as party candidate from Jamshedpur (East) in the 1995 Assembly elections.

He went on to win the seat not just once but five times. He became a minister for the first time after the creation of Jharkhand in the Babulal Marandi government and got place in the subsequent two governments led by Arjun Munda before becoming the deputy chief minister in the Shibu Soren-led government in 2009.

Das held portfolios of finance, labour and urban development during his stint as cabinet minister. Born to Chaman Ram and Sonwati Devi on May 3, 1955 at Bhalubasa in Jamshedpur, he worked as a ‘mazdoor’ (labourer) at Rolling Mill of Tata Steel. In his student life at the Jamshedpur Co-operative College, Das was an active student union leader. He joined the student movement launched by JP in 1974.

Having got a Bachelor of Law degree after passing out from Jamshedpur Cooperative College as a science graduate, Das enrolled himself with the Janata Party in 1977 and joined the BJP after its launch three years later. Impressed by his sincerity and hard work, the party nominated him as BJP candidate for Jamshedpur East Assembly constituency in 1995 and he never looked back, winning every Assembly elections thereafter.

After being elected as the BJP’s legislative leader, Das said a ‘mazdoor’ becoming CM or PM or President could happen only in the BJP.

Das, who held the portfolios of Finance, Labour, Building Construction and Urban Development since Jharkhand’s creation on November 15, 2000, twice held the post of party’s state unit president.

BJP president Amit Shah appointed him as a vice-president of the party, considering his organisational ability.

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