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Arjun Munda is an Indian politician and a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) who is currently serving in the Narendra Modi government under the Ministry of Tribal Affairs. He was also the Chief Minister of Jharkhand.
Munda started his political career when he was in his teens, joining the Jharkhand movement spearheaded by Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) during the early 80s. The party had sought to create a separate state for tribals from the southern regions of Bihar. He was very passionate about the welfare of the indigenous people of his region and was working actively for it.
His political influence began to grow because of his inclusive philosophy and in 1995 he was elected to the Bihar Legislative Assembly from Kharsawan constituency on a JMM ticket.
When the NDA strongly supported the cause of Jharkhand and promised to create a separate tribal state, Munda joined the BJP. He contested the 2000 elections on a BJP ticket was again elected to the Bihar Assembly from his old constituency of Kharsawan. He was elected from the same constituency to the Jharkhand Assembly in 2005 and again in the 2011 by-election after becoming chief minister in 2010.
Munda was made Tribal Welfare Minister in the first Babulal Marandi-led NDA coalition government of Jharkhand. Through his performance and work ethic, his popularity grew and his support base further expanded. He was made CM of the state in 2003 at the young age of 35 in the aftermath of Babulal Marandi's divisive domicile policy.
An MP from Khunti to the 17th Lok Sabha, he is currently serving as the Union Minister for Tribal Affairs in the second Modi Cabinet.
Munda was born on May 3, 1968 in Khrangajhar, Jamshedpur to late Ganesh and Saira Munda, a modest religious-minded family. He completed his graduation from Ranchi University and went on to earn a PG Diploma in Social Sciences from Indira Gandhi National Open University.
Munda played a big part in defusing the tension that had been caused by the domicile movement in 2001-2002. He had insisted that every citizen of India has the fundamental right granted by the Indian Constitution to live and work in any part of the country.
Jharkhand got its first Lokayukta during Munda's tenure, and in 2011, the state successfully conducted the 34th National Games. Under the leadership of Munda, the state government also introduced an e-tender system for government contracts to bring about transparency and efficiency, and he also took the initiative for setting up of new power plants.
Munda also introduced welfare schemes and programs like Kanyadan Yojana, Mukhya Mantri Ladli Laxmi Yojana, Free Laptop/Tablet, and a few others that were later emulated by other states of India.
Munda is an avid golfer and he also plays the flute and almost all tribal musical instruments widely used in the area. He is multi-linguist and speaks Odia, English, Hindi, Bengali and several tribal languages and dialects of the region like Mundari, Ho, Santhali, Oraon and others.
Arjun Munda keeps his followers updated through Facebook - Arjun Munda/@ourarjunmunda, and Twitter - Arjun Munda/@MundaArjun.
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