Madhu Koda: 'Should've stayed a farmer or steel worker'

The son of a farmer, Madhu Koda was born in Gua village of Singhbhum district in Jharkhand. His father Rasika Koda and others in the family were never happy about him getting into joining politics. ''I had tried to convince him not to join politics, but he said he wanted to serve the country and society ... he had been sleepless since he joined politics and his thoughts were in chaos. It landed him in controversy,'' Rasika told IANS in 2009.

Koda dropped out of Tata College of Chaibasa in 1988. Then an independent MP from Singhbhum, he was arrested in Chaibasa in 2009 for allegedly amassing Rs400 billion through dubious deals.

''A farmer's son should have remained a farmer. He was good at farming and was a welder. He could have got a job at the Steel Authority of India and lived a normal life. But he dreamt big and failed to live it up,'' his sister Sumitra Birua told IANS in 2009.

Koda started his political career with the All Jharkhand Students Union. He later won in the 2000 Bihar Assembly elections from Jaganathpur as a Bharatiya Janata Party candidate. After the separation of Bihar and Jharkhand on 15 November 2000, Koda became a member of the Jharkhand Legislative Assembly and served as Minister of State, Rural Engineering Organisation (Independent Charge) in the then Babulal Marandi government.

Following a revolt in the ruling party, Marandi had to resign and Arjun Munda became the new CM on 18 March 2003. Koda served in Munda government as minister of Panchayati Raj.

Koda was denied a ticket by the BJP in the 2005 Assembly Elections in Jharkhand. He contested as an independent candidate and won from Jaganathpur once again. Koda extended his support to the BJP-led NDA.

Arjun Munda formed an NDA government in the state and Koda became the minister of mining, geology and cooperatives. Koda and three other independent candidates triggered the fall of Munda government in September 2006 by withdrawing support.

Later, the UPA chose Koda as a consensus candidate to become CM. Koda took oath on 14 September 2006. However, in August 2008, JMM withdrew support from the Koda government as Shibu Soren staked his claim for CM. Koda resigned on 23 August 2008 and became the UPA in-charge of Jharkhand state.

There followed several ups and downs in state politics, till in the 2009 general elections, Koda became an MP from Singhbhum as an independent candidate. In the subsequent 2014 Jharkhand Assembly Election, Koda lost from Majhgao constituency

Mining scam
It was alleged by investigating agencies that Koda had taken huge bribes for illegally allotting iron ore and coal mining contracts in Jharkhand when he was chief minister. Koda and his associates are alleged to have collected over Rs4,000 crore by allotting mines to business houses (See: Jharkhand ex-CM Madhu Koda ruled guilty in 'coalgate' case).

The Jharkhand High Court had ordered the Central Bureau of Investigation to probe into the scam. Koda was arrested by Jhakhand police's vigilance wing on 30 November 2009, and eventually convicted today.