Friday, December 26, 2014

Raghubar Das - Chief Minister of Jharkhand

Raghubar Das, an Indian politician belongs to Bharatiya Janata Party. He, originally from state of Chhattisgarh, is current chief minister designate of Bharatiya Janata Party in the state of Jharkhand. He held the office of Deputy Chief Minister of Jharkhandstate, India, from 30 December 2009 to 29 May 2010. Raghubar Das, a former employee with Tata Steel, is the four-time BJP MLA from Jamshedpur East since 1995 and also the Urban Development Minister during the NDA government in the state. He has shown assets to the tune of around Rs. 21 lakh.

Early life

Das hails from a Teli  vaishya bania family.

In January 2010, a report by a high powered committee set up by Jharkhand Assembly indicted Raghubar Das of colluding with and rewarding favours to a private firm. Meinhardt, a Singapore-based company, was asked to prepare a detailed project report (DPR) for the state capital’s sewage and drainage system for a whopping Rs 21.4 crore but the project was a non-starter. Das was then urban development minister in the Munda government of 2004-2005. In year 2005, when Das was the urban development minister a contract worth Rs 200 crore was awarded to Meinhardt for building and managing the sewage drainage system of entire Ranchi city. On of the conditions laid down for bidding for contract was that the firm must have declared profits for three consecutive years starting from 2002 to 2005. However, as documents show Meinhardt never disclosed the returns from 2004 to 2005. Amongst the four firms who were bidding for the contract, Meinhardt was not the only company violating the laid down norms. Another firm, Barchill Partners Pvt Ltd also did not disclose returns for the last year. On the same grounds while Barchill was thrown out, Meinhardt was not only retained but also awarded the highest ranking.

Earlier, in the year 2009, a PIL filed at the Ranchi High Court, Mohammad Tahir, a social worker, requested the court to direct the state vigilance department to probe the awarding of the contract given to the foreign firm. It was alleged that Rs.6 crore was paid to the Singapore firm Meinhardt as consultants to the project, but the drainage system in Ranchi saw no improvement.

In March 2010, then deputy Chief Minister Raghubar Das defended an obvious violation of 'conflict of interest' when Jharkhand Rural Works Minister Haji Hussain Ansari faced allegations of favouring his son, Tanvir Ansari, in awarding a contract worth Rs.1.41 crore from his department. Mr Ansari was awarded the contract for road construction by the tender committee of the rural works department of the district Deoghar.

A Cobrapost investigation in Dec 2014 revealed how politicians have been using chartered aircraft, with some of them flouting Election Commission norms. Raghubar Das along with former Jharkhand chief minister Arjun Munda and then state BJP party in-charge Vinod Pandey flew from Ranchi to Chaibasa (in Jharkhand) on 25th March 2014, by a Summit Aviation charter plane. On 31st March 2014, Das and Munda went from Ranchi to Godda (in Jharkhand) again in a Summit Aviation aircraft.

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