24/12/2014 9:50 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:24 AM IST

Frontrunners Emerge For Jharkhand CM

Women display their voter’s identity cards outside a polling booth during the fifth and final phase of elections in Daltonganj, in the eastern Indian state of Jharkhand, Friday, Dec. 18, 2009. Elections in the state have been conducted under tight security owing to the presence of Maoist rebels in the area. (AP Photo/Sasanka Sen)

With BJP set to form a government in Jharkhand, the key question is whether the party, in a break from the past, will give the state's first non-tribal chief minister for which BJP?s vice president Raghuvar Das and veteran leader Saryu Roy appear to be front-runners.

However, if BJP decides to stick to tribal as chief minister, the focus could shift to union minister Sudarshan Bhagat.

A five-time MLA, Das? keenness for the top post is no secret. A couple of years ago while speaking in the state assembly, Das had reacted to an MLA?s remark whether he was interested in becoming CM, by saying a man is in politics for that reason only.

With former chief minister Arjun Munda, a tribal, falling out of the race with his defeat in the assembly poll, Das has become guarded in his statements now.

He left the issue of CM's choice to BJP's central party leadership when the media had yesterday asked him in Jamshedpur to comment on the chief ministerial candidate.

Saryu Roy, considered close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi (he was in a committee set up to collect iron pieces for the statue of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, a pet project of Modi), was instrumental in setting the precedent of having a tribal as chief minister of Jharkhand and it has continued since then.