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Madhu Koda sworn in as Jharkhand CM
September 18, 2006 16:12 IST
Last Updated: September 18, 2006 16:34 IST
The low-profile independent MLA who once remarked, 'I feel like hitting sixes like Mahendra Singh Dhoni' has really hit it big in a different way. At 35, he is the youngest chief minister of Jharkhand.
Madhukar Koda has got a sudden windfall after a stunning turn of political events in the last fortnight as the former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh worker is now the chief minister of a United Progressive Alliance government.
The Bharatiya Janata Party had least expected that the short, thick moustached and curly-haired Koda, who prefers designer clothes to the khadi dress code, would one day emerge as the dark horse to dismount the 18-month-old Arjun Munda government.
Hailing from a tribal farming community, Koda, a graduate, began his career as a social activist and in politics before he completed his matriculation.
Joining the RSS in 1990, Koda entered the assembly as a BJP member in 2000 from the Jagannathpur constituency and became the Panchayati Raj minister in the Babulal Marandi government, which was formed soon after bifurcation of Bihar. He remained a minister since then.
Born on January 6, 1971 at Patahatu in West Singhbhum, Koda faced several hurdles in his political career, a career disliked by his 69-year-old father Rasika.
Though witnessing the bitterest moment of his life when his marriage fell out even while remaining in the Arjun Munda cabinet, the soft-spoken Koda continued his balancing act deftly, not allowing his personal life to affect his political career.
"This post is not a bed of roses but a crown of thorns," observed Koda soon after staking claim to form the government, obviously aware of the experiences his predecessors Babulal Marandi, Arjun Munda and Shibu Soren went through.
"If I become the chief minister, it will be the support and blessings of god, my elders and friends," Koda had remarked.
Rashtriya Janata Dal supremo Lalu Prasad, who played a key role in the Jharkhand developments, declared when the political crisis was on that his 'blessings' were with Koda for the top job.
Probably nursing the humiliation of not getting a BJP ticket in the 2005 elections despite serving in the NDA ministry for five years, Koda won as independent that year, rebelling against the party's decision and inviting expulsion.
He did not mind joining the BJP-Janata Dal (United) coalition then, but waited for the right time to strike -- a blow that propelled him to the high office -- when he took exception to a contractor's call which he intrepreted as a threat.
He brought this up in the House during the monsoon session; Munda said, a day later, that it had not been a threat call.
Munda's concentration had been confined to his former home minister Sudesh Mahto after the latter formed the group of five ministers that included Koda.
But the former chief minister hardly expected Koda to fire the final and lethal shot. Koda, who has a good rapport with Marandi, never showed any public resentment against Munda.