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Munda's roller-coaster ride in Jharkhand politics

Source: PTI
January 08, 2013 15:56 IST
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Chief Minister Arjun Munda, who headed a coalition government of Bharatiya Janata Party/ Jharkhand Mukti Morcha /Ajsu party/Janata Dal-United since September 11, 2010, on Tuesday resigned for the third time as the saga of political instability continued in Jharkhand since its creation 12 years ago.

Beginning his political career with the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha under Shibu Soren in the 1980s, Munda switched sides joining the BJP and winning the assembly polls from Kharsawan since 1995.

Born on January 5, 1968, at Ghorabandha in Jamshedpur, Munda, a graduate, became a minister in the Babulal Marandi council when Jharkhand was carved out from Bihar on November 15, 2000, during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee regime at the Centre.

Munda, who was just another minister in the BJP-led government, shot into the limelight when he replaced Marandi in March 2003, after the government fell on the floor of the assembly when some cabinet ministers crossed the floor.

After assuming charge, one of the first decisions taken by Munda was clearing off some cases, including his own, registered during the Jharkhand movement.

The 45-year-old deftly managed the Marandi camp till the 2005 assembly elections threw up a fractured mandate that triggered a month-long drama following the then Governor S S Razi appointing Shibu Soren as chief minister who resigned after nine days, giving Arjun Munda his second stint as the head of the BJP-led government.

Buoyed at becoming CM for the second time, Munda slowly sidelined Marandi, who had no choice but to break away from the saffron party to float the Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (Prajatantric).

Munda's focus was so much on Marandi after taking the mantle from him that he was caught unawares when he lost power on September 14, 2006, to Madhu Koda.

Koda staged the coup d'etat along with Harinarain Rai, Enos Ekka and Kamlesh Singh who were later booked in corruption cases.

Munda, who was elected to Lok Sabha in the 2009 general elections, again received a third chance to lead an unpredictable coalition after Soren resigned following withdrawal of support by the BJP on May 24, 2010.

Subsequently, both BJP and JMM came together on September 10, 2010, after a brief spell of President's rule.

He won the Kharsawan assembly by-poll after assuming office.

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