Nitish Kumar (born 1 March 1951) is an Indian politician who has served as the 22nd chief minister of Bihar since 22 February 2015, having previously held the office from 2005 to 2014 and for a short period in 2000. He is Bihar's longest serving chief minister, and also holding the post for 9th term.[1]

Nitish Kumar
Kumar in 2007
22nd Chief Minister of Bihar
Assumed office
22 February 2015
Governor
DeputyTejashwi Yadav (2015–2017) (2022–2024)
Sushil Kumar Modi (2017–2020)
Tarkishore Prasad and Renu Devi (2020–2022)
Samrat Chaudhary and Vijay Kumar Sinha (2024-Present)
Preceded byJitan Ram Manjhi
ConstituencyDigha
In office
24 November 2005 – 20 May 2014
DeputySushil Kumar Modi (until 16 June 2013)
Preceded byPresident's rule
Succeeded byJitan Ram Manjhi
In office
3 March 2000 – 10 March 2000
Preceded byRabri Devi
Succeeded byRabri Devi
Union Minister of Railways
In office
20 March 2001 – 21 May 2004
Prime MinisterAtal Bihari Vajpayee
Preceded byMamata Banerjee
Succeeded byLalu Prasad Yadav
In office
19 March 1998 – 5 August 1999
Prime MinisterAtal Bihari Vajpayee
Preceded byRam Vilas Paswan
Succeeded byMamata Banerjee
Union Minister of Agriculture
In office
27 May 2000 – 21 July 2001
Prime MinisterAtal Bihari Vajpayee
Preceded bySunder Lal Patwa
Succeeded byAjit Singh
In office
22 November 1999 – 3 March 2000
Prime MinisterAtal Bihari Vajpayee
Preceded byAtal Bihari Vajpayee
Succeeded bySunder Lal Patwa
Union Minister of Surface Transport
In office
13 October 1999 – 22 November 1999
Prime MinisterAtal Bihari Vajpayee
Preceded byM. Thambidurai
Succeeded byJaswant Singh
In office
14 April 1998 – 5 August 1999
Prime MinisterAtal Bihari Vajpayee
Preceded byJaswant Singh
Succeeded byRajnath Singh
National President Janata Dal (United)
Assumed office
29 December 2023
Preceded byLalan Singh
Personal details
Born (1951-03-01) 1 March 1951 (age 73)
Bakhtiarpur, Bihar, India
Political partyJanata Dal (United)
Other political
affiliations
National Democratic Alliance (2024–present; 2017–2022; 1999–2013)

Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (2023–2024)

Samata Party (until 2005)
Janata Dal (1989–1994)
Spouse
Manju Sinha
(m. 1973; died 2007)
ChildrenNishant Kumar (son)
Parents
  • Kaviraj Ram Lakhan Singh (father)
  • Parmeshwari Devi (mother)
Alma materBihar College of Engineering (BE)
Signature
Source: [1]

He is the leader of the Janata Dal (United). Previously, Kumar also served as a Union Minister as the Samata Party member.[2] He was member of the Samata Party until 2005 and Janata Dal from 1989 to 1994. Kumar first entered politics as a member of the Janata Dal, becoming an MLA in 1985. A socialist, Kumar founded the Samata Party in 1994 along with George Fernandes. In 1996 he was elected to the Lok Sabha, and served as a Union Minister in the government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, with his party joining the National Democratic Alliance. In 2003 his party merged into the Janata Dal (United), and Kumar became its leader. In 2005, the NDA won a majority in the Bihar Legislative Assembly, and Kumar became chief minister heading a coalition with the Bharatiya Janata Party.

In the 2010 state elections, the governing coalition won re-election in a landslide. In June 2013, Kumar broke with the BJP after Narendra Modi was named as their candidate for prime minister, and formed the Mahagathbandhan, a coalition with the Rashtriya Janata Dal and Indian National Congress and joined in United Progressive Alliance. On 17 May 2014, Kumar resigned as chief minister after the party suffered severe losses in the 2014 Indian general election, and was replaced by Jitan Ram Manjhi. However, he attempted to return as chief minister in February 2015, sparking a political crisis that eventually saw Manjhi resign and Kumar become chief minister again. Later that year, the Mahagathbandhan won a large majority in the state elections. In 2017, Kumar broke with the RJD over corruption allegations and returned to the NDA, leading another coalition with the BJP; at the 2020 state elections his government was narrowly reelected. In August 2022, Kumar left the NDA, rejoining the Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance) and UPA.[3][4] In January 2024, Kumar left the Mahagathbandhan once again and rejoined the NDA.[5]

Early life edit

 
Nitish Kumar paying tribute to his wife Manju Sinha through her statue.[6]

Kumar was born on 1 March 1951 in Bakhtiarpur, Bihar. His father, Kaviraj Ram Lakhan Singh, was an ayurvedic practitioner; his mother Parmeshwari Devi was from Nepal.[7] Nitish belongs to Kurmi agricultural caste.[8][9] His nickname is 'Munna'.[10][11]

He has earned a degree in Electrical Engineering [12] from Bihar College of Engineering (now NIT Patna) in 1972.[13] He joined the Bihar State Electricity Board, half-heartedly, and later moved into politics.[14][15] He married Manju Kumari Sinha (1955-2007) on 22 February 1973 and the couple has one son.[9] Manju Sinha died in New Delhi on 14 May 2007 due to pneumonia.[16]

Political career edit

Kumar belongs to a socialist class of politicians. During his early years as a politician he was associated with Ram Manohar Lohia, S. N. Sinha, Karpuri Thakur, and V. P. Singh.[13][17] Kumar participated in Jayaprakash Narayan's movement between 1974 and 1977[18] and joined the Janata party headed by Satyendra Narain Sinha.[19] Unlike Lalu Prasad Yadav, who is considered as a crowd puller, Kumar is considered as a deft communicator.[20]

Kumar fought and first time won his election to the state assembly from Harnaut in 1985. In the initial years, Lalu Prasad Yadav was backed by Kumar as leader of the opposition in Bihar Assembly in the year 1989 but Kumar later switched his loyalty to BJP in 1996, after winning his first Lok Sabha seat from Barh.[21]

The Janata Dal had survived the splits in past when leaders like Kumar and George Fernandes defected to form the Samata Party in 1994, but it remained a baseless party after the decision of Lalu Prasad Yadav to form Rashtriya Janata Dal in 1997. The second split took place prior to Rabri Devi assuming power which resulted in Janata Dal having only two leaders of any consequence in it, namely Sharad Yadav and Ram Vilas Paswan. Paswan was regarded as the rising leader of Dalits and had the credit of winning his elections with unprecedented margins. His popularity reached to the national level when he was awarded the post of Minister of Railways in the United Front government in 1996 and was subsequently made the leader of Lok Sabha. His outreach was witnessed in the western Uttar Pradesh too, when his followers organised an impressive rally at the behest of a newly floated organisation called Dalit Panthers.[22]

Sharad Yadav was also a veteran socialist leader but without any massive support base. In the 1998 Parliamentary elections, the Samata Party and Janata Dal, which was in a much weaker position after the formation of RJD ended up eating each other's vote base. This made Kumar merge both the parties to form Janata Dal (United).[23]

In 1999 Lok Sabha elections Rashtriya Janata Dal received a setback at the hand of BJP+JD(U) combine. The new coalition emerged leading in 199 out of 324 assembly constituencies and it was widely believed that in the forthcoming election to Bihar state assembly, the Lalu-Rabri rule will come to an end. The RJD had fought the election in an alliance with the Congress but the coalition didn't work making state leadership of Congress believe that the maligned image of Lalu Prasad after his name was drawn in the Fodder Scam had eroded his support base. Consequently, Congress decided to fight the 2000 assembly elections alone.[24]

The RJD had to be satisfied with the communist parties as coalition partners but the seat-sharing conundrum in the camp of National Democratic Alliance made Kumar pull his Samta Party out of the Sharad Yadav and Ram Vilas Paswan faction of the Janata Dal. Differences also arose between the BJP and Kumar as the latter wanted to be projected as the Chief Minister of Bihar but the former was not in favour. Even Paswan also wanted to be a CM face. The Muslims and OBCs were too divided in their opinion. A section of Muslims, which included the poor communities like Pasmanda were of the view that Yadav only strengthened upper Muslims like Shaikh, Sayyid and Pathans and they were in search of new options.[24]

Yadav also alienated other dominant backward castes like Koeri and Kurmi since his projection as the saviour of Muslims. It is argued by Sanjay Kumar that the belief that, "the dominant OBCs like the twin caste of Koeri-Kurmi will ask for share in power if he seeks their support while the Muslims will remain satisfied with the protection during communal riots only" made Yadav neglect them. Moreover, the divisions in both the camps made the political atmosphere in the state a charged one in which many parties were fighting against each other with no visible frontiers. JD(U) and BJP were fighting against each other on some of the seats and so was the Samta Party. The result was a setback for the BJP, which in media campaigns was emerging with a massive victory. RJD emerged as the single largest party and with the political manoeuvring of Lalu Yadav, Rabri Devi was sworn in as the Chief Minister again.[25] The media largely failed to gauge the ground level polarisation in Bihar.[24] According to Sanjay Kumar:

There can be no doubt about one thing that the upper-caste media was always anti-Lalu and it was either not aware of the ground level polarisation in Bihar, or deliberately ignored it. If the election result did not appear as a setback for RJD, it was largely because of the bleak picture painted by the media. Against this background, RJD's defeat had appeared like a victory.[26]

Even after serving imprisonment in connection with the 1997 scam, Lalu seemed to relish his role as the lower-caste jester. He argued that corruption charges against him and his family were the conspiracy of the upper-caste bureaucracy and media elites threatened by the rise of peasant cultivator castes.

In 2004 General elections, Lalu's RJD had outperformed other state-based parties by winning 26 Lok Sabha seats in Bihar. He was awarded the post of Union Railway minister but the rising aspirations of the extremely backward castes unleashed by him resulted in JD(U) and BJP led coalition to defeat his party in 2005 Bihar Assembly elections.[27]

Kumar as Union Minister edit

 
Union Minister for Railways Shri Nitish Kumar entering Parliament to present Interim Railway Budget (2004-05) in New Delhi on 30 January 2004

Nitish was briefly, the Union Minister for Railways and Minister for Surface Transport and later, the Minister for Agriculture in 1998–99, in the NDA government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. In August 1999, he resigned following the Gaisal train disaster, for which he took responsibility as a minister.[28] However, in his short stint as Railway Minister, he brought in widespread reforms, such as internet ticket booking facility in 2002,[29][30] opening a record number of railway ticket booking counters and introducing the tatkal scheme for instant booking.

Later that year, he rejoined the Union Cabinet as Minister for Agriculture. From 2001 to May 2004, he was – again – the Union Minister for Railways.[31] In the 2004 Lok Sabha elections, he contested elections from two places, when he was elected from Nalanda but lost from his traditional constituency, Barh.[32]

Administration edit

Law and order reform edit

 
Nitish Kumar in conversation with higher police officials of state, while inspecting Sardar Patel Bhavan, Patna

One of the biggest challenge before Kumar after becoming Chief Minister, during his first term, was deteriorated law and order situation of the state. There were many organised criminal gangs active in the state and kidnapping was considered as the biggest criminal activity. Besides this, the challenge of left wing extremism in some of the backward areas of the state was also persisting for a long time. Kumar brought the Arms Act, and special courts were set up to expedite the process of conviction of those held under this act. Bringing of the Arms Act and stringent implementation brought two way benefits for the Government; first, it became easy for the police to arrest a criminal and second, the use of lethal weapons became prohibited.[33]

Kumar also recruited the retired army officials and soldiers to create a special wing of Police called Special Auxiliary Police (SAP), in order to deal with the Maoist challenge in the state. It brought some kind of economic engagement for the retired military personnels, and at the same time, made available professionally trained commandos for the Bihar Police at low budgetry expense. These commandos were better than the police constables recruited by the state, in order to deal with the extremists. They just needed special category of weapons, which was provided by the state under Kumar. The retired intelligence officers were also recruited to form a investigation department, called "Special Vigilance Unit" (SVU). This body dealt with the offences at the level of high level government officials. For acquisition of property of the accused during trial, Bihar Special Court Act 2009 was brought, which became effective since 2010. The SVU remained a successful idea in dealing with corruption at the higher level of bureaucracy. One of the first case before it was the trial of former Director General of Police, Narayan Mishra, who was held for several corruption charges against him.[33]

In order to recruit only the qualified candidates in the state Police, the reform in recruitment examination was also brought. Kumar introduced the "Carbon Copy system" in the written examination, which was to be held to recruit the new entrants. In order to prevent tampering of the examination copy, the original copy marked by the candidate was sent directly to the strong room after the examination. The evaluators used to get only the Carbon Copy, and in case of any discrepancy, the original copy was matched with the Carbon Copy evaluated by the evaluators. Further, a permanent recruitment examination was also made compulsory and the physical examination was made qualifying in determining merit, for selection to constabulary. In the tenure of Chief Ministers prior to Kumar, only physical examination was deciding factor in selecting the constables. This system was prone to corruption and favoritism.[33]

The push to the speedy trial under Kumar's government brought results within a short period of time, and in 2006 itself, a total of 6,839 offenders were convicted. There witnessed a massive drop in cases registered under the Arms act in the forthcoming terms of Kumar as the Chief Minister. It declined to just 495 by the end of 2010 from 1609 in 2006. According to one opinion, the massive decline was a result of fleeing of many criminals from the state, in order to seek refuse in the terai region of Nepal as well as eschewing of crime by others to become good samaritans.[34]

 
Nitish Kumar and Tejaswi Yadav inaugurating the office building of Bihar Police in 2023.

Kumar's government also took step to empower the District Magistrate to apprehend the officials taking bribe in order to reduce corruption. One of the major problem of the prison system of Bihar was laxity available to criminals to operate cell phones from the jail. Many a times, organised crime were planned from within the premise of Bihar's prison. The government took step to fix Mobile phone jammers in jails, to prohibit the gangsters from operating cell phones. Bihar also actively enforced the All India Prison reforms program, outlined by Supreme Court of India in a judgement, in order to reform the entire operating system of jails. It included reducing the number of inmates to be included in a particular prison, a step, which was necessary to prevent the overcrowding.[35]

In order to break the link of the prisoners with the jail authorities, Kumar's government took step like periodically transferring the dreaded criminals, who were convicted in large number of criminal cases from one prison to more secure cells located in Bhagalpur and Beur. One of the significant example of this include, the transfer of Ajay Kanu, a naxalite, who was prime accused in "2005 Jahanabad Jail Break case", to Beur Jail. In 2022, gangsters like Rakesh Mahto, who was leader of crime syndicate being organised from Muzaffarpur, was also transferred from Muzaffarpur to Bhagalpur Jail, in a high security Prison cell.[36] Other example, which is part of this routine procedure is of Rashtriya Janata Dal Member of Bihar Legislative Council, Ritlal Yadav, who had numerous cases of extortion and murder against him.[37] D.N Gautam, who served as Director General of Bihar Police, stated in his autobiography that Nitish Kumar was instrumental in improving the law and order situation in the state of Bihar. Gautam compared the tenures of Kumar's predecessors and has mentioned that in the 1980s, politicians used to come out in support of criminals openly. When Gautam was serving as Rohtas SP and Shahabad Range DIG, he mentions that at least six Members of Bihar Legislative Assembly had extended patronage to dreaded dacoit gangs of Kaimur hills, and they were strictly opposed to any sort of police action against dacoit Ramchandra Koeri, who operated out of Kaimur hills in Rohtas district. Gautam also mentions that though Kumar had kept his proposal of creation of 'Anti Terrorist Squad' in abeyance, after the Bodhgaya blasts, it was established expeditiously. [38]

Consolidation of Extremely Backward Castes edit

Kumar had dual challenge of keeping his core political base of Koeris, Kurmis and Extremely Backward Castes together with a section of upper castes. The National Democratic Alliance, of which Kumar's party was a part, was relying upon the support of a section of upper caste. The share of this section in the political power structure was making it difficult for Kumar to carry on his program of social justice, specially with respect to consolidation of 'Extremely Backward Castes' (EBC). This group comprised the lower backwards– the castes other than the Koeri, Kurmi, Yadav and Bania. Kumar's government brought the idea of 50% reservation for the women in the Panchayati Raj institutions at all level. This plan also included 20% reservation in these bodies for the members of Extremely Backward Castes. These quotas, which were given separately to already existing quotas for Schedule Castes and Schedule Tribes in local bodies, led to political consolidation of Extremely Backward Castes.[39]

The reservation to this section of society brought a massive increase in their representation in the three tier Panchayati Raj system. There were many representatives of the EBCs for the post of Mukhiya, Pramukhs of Panchayat Samiti as well as President of Zila Parishad. The membership of this social group in Panchyat Samiti and Zila Parishad also increased.[39] Kumar's government also announced a scheme of 50% reservation in state judicial services, within this, the EBCs were given 21% share as against the Other Backward Class, which was given 12% share. The Schedule Castes were also given 16% share of this 50% reservation pie. The step was intended to bring more and more candidates from these social groups in lower judiciary.[40]

In order to strengthen his outreach and acceptability among the members of Extremely Backward Castes, and to expand his voter base beyond his traditional vote bank, Nitish Kumar embarked on a project to promote EBC leaders within his party. In 2005, a less known leader from the Kahar caste, Chandeshwar Prasad grabbed his attention and Kumar promoted him by making the head of Extremely Backward Caste wing of his party. He was also given significant positions like those of membership of syndicate of Magadh University. At the behest of Nitish Kumar, National Democratic Alliance in 2019 projected Prasad as the candidate for Indian General Elections from Jahanabad Lok Sabha constituency, which was believed to be a Bhumihar caste dominated constituency. But, with the backing of Janata Dal United, Prasad as a NDA candidate was able to defeat Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Surendra Prasad Yadav. This was first instance in the history of constituency that an Extremely Backward Caste leader was elected from an upper caste dominated constituency.[41] Prior to 2024 Lok Sabha polls, on the direction of Nitish Kumar, JDU state president Umesh Singh Kushwaha also launched Bheem Samvad, Karpoori Charcha and Bhaichara Yatra (campaigns) to mobilize Dalits, Extremely Backward Castes and Muslims.[42]

Tenure as Chief Minister of Bihar edit

Kumar is a member of the Janata Dal (United) political party. As the chief minister, he appointed more than 100,000 school teachers, ensured that doctors worked in primary health centres, electrified many villages,[43] paved roads, cut female illiteracy by half, turned around a lawless state by cracking down on criminals and doubled the income of the average Bihari.[44]

First term (2000) edit

In March 2000, Nitish was elected Chief Minister of Bihar for the first time at the behest of the Vajpayee Government in the centre, as Samata Party member.[45] NDA and allies had 151 MLAs whereas Lalu Prasad Yadav had 159 MLAs in the 324 member house. Both alliances were less than the majority mark that is 163. Nitish resigned before he could prove his numbers in the house.[46][47] He lasted 7 days in the post.[48]

Second term (2005 – 2010) edit

 
Nitish Kumar and Lalu Prasad Yadav discussing with the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh about the relief operations on flood-affected areas, in Bihar, 28 August 2008.

After victory in 2005 Bihar Assembly elections, Kumar a leader of OBC Kurmi caste was sworn in as the chief minister. During Lalu's time, backward caste candidates came to dominate the Bihar assembly claiming half of the seats in it and it was the aspiration of this powerful social community that led to friction among the united backwards, leading to the rise of Kumar who made both social justice and development as his political theme.[27]

Third term (2010 – 2014) edit

Kumar's government also initiated bicycle and meal programs. Giving bicycles to girls who stayed in school resulted in the state getting a huge number of girls into schools and a reduction in school dropout rates.[49]

In 2010, Kumar's party swept back to power along with its then allies, the Bharatiya Janata Party, and he again became Chief Minister.[21] The alliance won 206 seats, while the RJD won 22.[50] For the first time, electorates witnessed high turnout of women and young voters, while this was declared as the fairest election in Bihar, with no bloodshed or poll violence.[51]

On 17 May 2014, Kumar submitted his resignation to the Governor of Bihar, a day after his party fared poorly in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, winning just 2 seats against 20 seats in the previous election.[21] Kumar resigned, taking the moral responsibility of his party's poor performance in the election, and Jitan Ram Manjhi took over.[52]

Fourth term (2015) edit

Nitish served a fourth term for a brief period of time in 2015. Kumar again became Chief Minister on 22 February 2015, on the backdrop of upcoming 2015 Bihar Legislative Assembly election, considered to be his toughest election to date.[53][54] His JD(U), along with RJD and Congress, formed the Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance) to counter the BJP in Bihar.[55]

Fifth term (2015 - 2017) edit

External videos
  Fir se ek bar ho Bihar me Bahar ho, fir se ek bar ho Nitish Kumar ho Official song of Nitish Kumar's election campaign for 2015 Bihar Assembly elections.

Kumar campaigned aggressively during the elections for the Grand Alliance, countering the allegations raised by Narendra Modi and the BJP.[56]

The Grand Alliance won the Assembly election by a margin of 178 over the BJP and its allies, with RJD emerging as the largest party with 80 seats and JD(U) placed second with 71.[57][58] Kumar was sworn in as Chief Minister on 20 November 2015 for a record fifth time and Tejashwi Yadav became Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar.[21]

Kumar's campaign was managed by Prashant Kishor's Indian Political Action Committee (I-PAC) who were hired to manage the campaign for JD(U).[59] I-PAC designed the campaign strategy which included reaching out to a larger set of voters through innovative campaigns, including sending hundreds of branded cycles for outreach,[60] Har Ghar Dastak (door-to-door outreach)[61] and the DNA campaign.[62]

Sixth Term (2017 - 2020) edit

 
Chief Minister of Bihar Nitish Kumar with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2017.

When corruption charges were levelled against Tejashwi Yadav, the Deputy Chief Minister, Kumar asked for him to resign from the cabinet. The Rashtriya Janata Dal refused to do so, and therefore Kumar resigned on 26 July 2017, thus ending the Grand Alliance.[21] He joined the principal opposition, the NDA, and came back to power within a few hours.[63]

Seventh term (2020 - 2022) edit

Capitalising on his 15 years consecutive terms as Chief Minister, Kumar highlighted various achievements and developments and listed various schemes carried out by his government and finally managed to get over a tightly contested election. NDA managed to get majority in Legislature Assembly by winning 125 seats as compared to Mahagathbandhan's 110 seats.[64] He was sworn in as Bihar Chief Minister for seventh time in 20 years in the presence of top leaders of NDA.[65]

On 8 December 2020, his deputy Sushil Kumar Modi was elected unopposed to the Rajya Sabha from Bihar to fill the vacant seat after the demise of Ram Vilas Paswan.[66] So, Nitish resigned on 16 August 2020 and returned as Chief Minister with his new deputies Tarkishore Prasad and Renu Devi.[67][68][69][70]

On 9 August 2022, Kumar resigned as chief minister and removed his party from the NDA, announcing that his party had rejoined the Mahagathbandhan, and would form a governing coalition with the RJD and INC.[71]

Eighth Term (2022 - 2024) edit

 
Nitish Kumar inaugurating the second phase of caste based survey in his ancestral village of Bakhtiarpur, with his family members.

On 9 August 2022, Kumar broke the alliance with the BJP and resigned as chief minister and revoked his party from the NDA, announcing that his party had rejoined the Mahagathbandhan, comprising RJD, INC, CPI and other independents, and would form a governing coalition. On 10 August he sworn in as the chief minister of the state for the eighth time in 22 years.[72]Bihar caste-based survey 2023 started in his sixth term.[73]

During this term, in January-February 2023, Kumar initiated his Samadhan Yatra, an outreach campaign, through which he visited various localities of the thirty eight districts of the state of Bihar. The primary motive behind these visits was overseeing the status of various state government developmental schemes and expediting their implementation on ground. During these visits, he was accompanied by his deputy Tejaswi Yadav and occasionally his cabinet ministers, when required.[74]

On 8 November 2023, the Bihar Assembly adjourned amidst protests by the opposition BJP demanding the resignation of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar following his controversial remarks about women's education and population control.[75] Kumar expressed regret for any offense his comments may have caused. Prime Minister Narendra Modi criticized Kumar, accusing him of having no shame and insulting women, without directly naming him. Kumar apologized, retracting his statements and reaffirming his support for women's education and empowerment. A complaint was also filed against Kumar for his remarks, with a hearing set for 25 November 2023. Meanwhile, women's organizations condemned the remarks, and the former Chief Minister of Bihar, Rabri Devi, defended Kumar, suggesting the comments were a slip of the tongue.[76]

On 28 January 2024, Kumar resigned as chief minister and rejoined NDA.[77]

Ninth Term (2024 - Present) edit

On 28 January, Kumar resigned as the chief minister and broke the Mahagathbandhan alliance with RJD and Congress, and rejoined the BJP led NDA alliance sparking a political crisis.[1] On the same day, he was sworn in as the Chief Minister for the ninth time in 24 years.[78]

Controversies edit

Nitish Kumar is often criticised for frequently changing and dumping alliances[79][80] throughout his political career for the sake of continuing as chief minister. This behavior has resulted in him earning the nickname Paltu Ram, meaning a person who frequently changes allegiance.[81]

Biographies edit

 
Nitish Kumar during his Samadhan Yatra (reachout campaign to oversee the implementation of schemes) with ministers Alok Kumar Mehta (left) and Sunil Kumar (right).
  • Sankarshan Thakur authored Single Man: The Life and Times of Nitish Kumar of Bihar.[82]
  • Arun Sinha has authored a book titled Nitish Kumar and The Rise of Bihar.[83]

Awards and recognition edit

  • Anuvrat Puraskar, by Shwetambar Terapanthi Mahasabha (Jain organisation), for enforcing total prohibition on liquor in Bihar, 2017
  • JP Memorial Award, Nagpur's Manav Mandir, 2013[84]
  • Ranked 77th in Foreign Policy Magazine' top 100 global thinkers 2012[85]
  • XLRI, Jamshedpur Sir Jehangir Ghandy Medal for Industrial & Social Peace 2011[86]
  • "MSN Indian of the Year 2010"[87]
  • NDTV Indian of the Year – Politics, 2010[88]
  • Forbes' "India's Person of the Year", 2010[89]
  • CNN-IBN "Indian of the Year Award" – Politics, 2010[90]
  • NDTV Indian of the Year – Politics, 2009[91]
  • Economics Times "Business Reformer of the Year 2009"[92]
  • Polio Eradication Championship Award 2009, by Rotary International[93]
  • CNN-IBN Great Indian of the Year – Politics, 2008[94]
  • The Best Chief Minister,[95] according to the CNN-IBN and Hindustan Times State of the Nation Poll 2007

Positions held edit

Period Positions Note
1977 Contested first assembly elections on a Janata Party ticket from Harnaut but lost
1980 Contested from Harnaut again, this time on Janata Party (Secular) ticket. But he lost again.[96]
1985–89 Member, Bihar Legislative Assembly, from Harnaut First term in Legislative Assembly
1986–87 Member, Committee on Petitions, Bihar Legislative Assembly
1987–88 President, Yuva Lok Dal, Bihar
1987–89 Member, Committee on Public Undertakings, Bihar Legislative Assembly.
1989 Secretary-General, Janata Dal, Bihar
1989 Elected to 9th Lok Sabha from Barh First term in Lok Sabha
1989 - 16 July 1990 Member, House Committee Resigned
April 1990–November 1990 Union Minister of State, Agriculture and Co-operation
1991 Re-elected to 10th Lok Sabha 2nd term in Lok Sabha
1991–93 General-Secretary, Janata Dal.
Deputy Leader of Janata Dal in Parliament
17 December 1991 – 10 May 1996 Member, Railway Convention Committee
8 April 1993 – 10 May 1996 Chairman, Committee on Agriculture
1996 Re-elected to 11th Lok Sabha.
Member, Committee on Estimates.
Member, General Purposes Committee.
Member, Joint Committee on the Constitution (Eighty-first Amendment Bill, 1996)
Third term in Lok Sabha
1996–98 Member, Committee on Defence
1998 Re-elected to 12th Lok Sabha 4th term in Lok Sabha
19 March 1998 – 5 August 1999 Union Cabinet Minister, Railways
14 April 1998 – 5 August 1999 Union Cabinet Minister, Surface Transport (additional charge)
1999 Re-elected to 13th Lok Sabha 5th term in Lok Sabha
13 October 1999 – 22 November 1999 Union Cabinet Minister, Surface Transport
22 November 1999 – 3 March 2000 Union Cabinet Minister, Agriculture
3 March 2000 – 10 March 2000 Chief Minister, Bihar as 29th Chief Minister of Bihar, only for 7 days
27 May 2000 – 20 March 2001 Union Cabinet Minister, Agriculture
20 March 2001 – 21 July 2001 Union Cabinet Minister, Agriculture, with an additional charge of Railways
22 July 2001 – 21 May 2004 Union Cabinet Minister, Railways
2004 Re-elected to 14th Lok Sabha, from Nalanda.
Member, Committee on Coal & Steel.
Member, General Purposes Committee.
Member, Committee of Privileges.
Leader Janata Dal (U) Parliamentary Party, Lok Sabha
6th term in Lok Sabha
24 November 2005 – 24 November 2010 Chief Minister, Bihar as 31st Chief Minister of Bihar
2006 Elected to Bihar Vidhan Parishad, First term
26 November 2010 – 17 May 2014 Chief Minister, Bihar as 32nd Chief Minister of Bihar
2012 Elected to Bihar Vidhan Parishad, Second term
22 February 2015 – 19 November 2015 Chief Minister, Bihar as 34th Chief Minister of Bihar
20 November 2015 – 26 July 2017 Chief Minister, Bihar as 35th Chief Minister of Bihar
27 July 2017 - November 2020 Chief Minister, Bihar as 36th Chief Minister of Bihar
2018 Elected to Bihar Vidhan Parishad, Third term
November 2020 - Incumbent Chief Minister, Bihar as 37th Chief Minister of Bihar

See also edit

References edit

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External links edit

Political offices
Preceded by Chief Minister of Bihar
3 March 2000 – 10 March 2000
Succeeded by
Preceded by Chief Minister of Bihar
24 November 2005 – 17 May 2014
Succeeded by
Preceded by Chief Minister of Bihar
22 February 2015 –
Succeeded by
incumbent