Nitish Kumar

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Nitish Kumar
Nitish Kumar (cropped).JPG
22nd Chief Minister of Bihar
Assumed office
27 July 2017
Deputy Sushil Kumar Modi
Preceded by Himself
In office
22 February 2015 – 26 July 2017
Deputy Tejashwi Yadav from 20 November 2015
Preceded by Jitan Ram Manjhi
In office
24 November 2005 – 17 May 2014
Deputy Sushil Kumar Modi (up to 16 June 2013)
Preceded by Rabri Devi
Succeeded by Jitan Ram Manjhi
Minister of Railways
In office
3 March 2000 – 10 March 2000
Preceded by Mamata Banerjee
Succeeded by Lalu Prasad Yadav
In office
20 March 2001 – 21 May 2004
Preceded by Ram Vilas Paswan
Succeeded by Ram Naik
Minister of Agriculture
In office
19 March 1998 – 5 August 1999
In office
27 May 2000 – 21 July 2001
Minister of Surface Transport
In office
22 November 1999 – 3 March 2000
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee
In office
13 October 1999 – 22 November 1999
In office
14 April 1998 – 5 August 1999
Personal details
Born (1951-03-01) 1 March 1951 (age 67)
Bakhtiarpur, Bihar, India
Political party Janata Dal (United)
Spouse(s) Manju Kumari Sinha
Children 1
Alma mater National Institute of Technology, Patna (NIT PATNA)
Profession Politician
Vikash Purush (Development Man)[1][2]
Mr. Clean[3][4]
Lord Turnaround[5]

Nitish Kumar (born 1 March 1951) is an Indian politician who is the Chief Minister of Bihar, a state in eastern India, since 2017. Previously he served as the Chief Minister of Bihar from 2005 to 2014 and from 2015 to 2017; he also served as a minister in the Union Government of India.[6] He belongs to the Janata Dal (United) political party. He endeared himself to Biharis, used to low expectations from previous regimes, when as Chief Minister, his socialist policies bore dividends in appointing more than 100,000 school teachers, ensuring that doctors worked in primary health centers, electrification of villages,[7] paving of roads, cutting female illiteracy by half, turning around a lawless state by cracking down on criminals and doubling the income of the average Bihari.[8] The cumulative growth rate of GDP of Bihar during his tenure as CM is highest as compared to other states for that period.

On 17 May 2014 he resigned, owning responsibility for his party's poor performance in the 2014 general elections, and was succeeded by Jitan Ram Manjhi. However, he returned to office in February 2015 following a political crisis in Bihar[9] and won the state elections of November 2015. He was elected as the national president of his party on 10 April 2016. In the upcoming election of 2019 many politicians including Lalu Yadav, Tejaswi Yadav and others had proposed him for the Prime Ministerial post in India[10][11][12] although he has denied such aspirations. He resigned again on 26 July 2017 as Chief Minister of Bihar over differences with the coalition partner RJD due to the naming of Tejaswi Yadav, the deputy CM and Lalu's son in an FIR by the CBI.[13][14] Hours later, he joined the NDA coalition which had thus far been the opposition, and secured a majority in the assembly, taking the Chief Ministership once again on the very next day.

Early life

Nitish Kumar was born in Harnaut (Kalyan Bigaha हिन्दी: कल्याण बिगहा), Nalanda district of Bihar in a Kurmi family to Kabiraj Ram Lakhan Singh and Parmeshwari Devi.[15] His father was a freedom fighter[16] and was close to the great Gandhian Bihar Vibhuti Anugrah Narayan Sinha, one of the founders of modern Bihar. His father, who was also an Ayurvedic Vaidyaraj.

He got a degree in mechanical[17] engineering[18] from Bihar College of Engineering, (now NIT Patna) in 1972.[19][20] He joined the Bihar State Electricity Board, half-heartedly, and later moved into politics.[21]

Political career

Nitish Kumar belongs to a socialist class of politicians. He learnt the lessons of politics under the[22] tutelage of stalwarts Jayaprakash Narayan, Ram Manohar Lohia, S. N. Sinha, Karpuri Thakur and V. P. Singh.[23]

Nitish Kumar participated in Jayaprakash Narayan's movement[24] between 1974 and 1977, and was close to Satyendra Narayan Sinha, a prominent leader of the time.

Union Minister

Nitish Kumar 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, taking the responsibility of the disaster as Minister of Railways. However, in his shoty stint as Railway Minister, he brought in widespread reforms[25] such as internet ticket booking facility in 2002,[26][27] 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. In the 2004 Lok Sabha elections, he contested elections from two places, when he got elected from Nalanda but lost from his traditional constituency, Barh.[28]

Chief Minister of Bihar

Nitish Kumar's government also initiated bicycle and meal programs – the government gave bicycles to girls who stayed in school – which saw Bihar getting huge number of girls into schools and fall in school drop out rates.[29]

In 2010, Nitish Kumar's party swept back to power along with its allies (at that time), Bharatiya Janata Party. On 26 November 2010, Nitish Kumar took oath as a Chief Minister of Bihar. This was his second consecutive term as Chief Minister of Bihar.[4][dead link] In a keenly fought contest, Nitish Kumar led JDU-BJP to combine won with four-fifth majority. NDA won 206 seats while RJD won 22 seats. No party there has won enough seats to represent the opposition in the state assembly, which requires at least 25 seats to become eligible to represent the main opposition party.[30][31] 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.[32]


On 17 May 2014, he 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. Kumar resigned, taking the moral responsibility of his party's poor performance in the election and Jitan Ram Manjhi took over.[33]

2015 Bihar elections

Nitish Kumar again assumed office of the Chief Minister on 22 February 2015, on the backdrop of upcoming 2015 Bihar Legislative Assembly election, considered to be his toughest election till date.[34][35] Thus, Nitish Kumar's JD(U) along with RJD and Congress, formed the Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance) to counter the BJP in Bihar.

Nitish campaigned aggressively during the elections for the Grand Alliance, countering the allegations raised by Narendra Modi and the BJP.[36] Finally, the Grand Alliance won the Assembly election by a huge margin of 178 seats against 58 seats of the BJP and its allies, and RJD emerged as the largest party by winning 80 seats and JD(U) came second, winning 71 seats.[37][38] He was sworn in as Chief Minister on 20 November 2015 for a record fifth time and Lalu Yadav's youngest son Tejashwi Yadav became the fourth Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar. On 26 July 2017, he resigned as Chief Minister of Bihar, citing resistance in working as a CM amid corruption charges at Deputy CM.He joined the principle opposition (NDA) and came back to power within a few hours.[39]

The Mahagathbandhan Breakup

Following the corruption charges against Tejashwi Yadav, the deputy Chief Minister, Nitish asked Yadav to resign from the cabinet which was refused by RJD. In order to protect his clean image and zero tolerance towards corruption, Nitish Kumar resigned on July 26, 2017, ending the so-called 'Grand Alliance'.[40][41][42]

Personal life

On 22 February 1973, Nitish Kumar married Manju Kumari Sinha, a teacher by profession. They have a son, Nishant (born 20 July 1975), who is a graduate in engineering from BIT-Mesra.[43][44][45] Manju Sinha died in 2007 at the age of 53. Nitish's nickname is Munna.[46][47]


Awards and recognition

Positions held

Period Positions Note
1977 Contested first assembly elections on a Janata Party ticket.
1985–89 Member, Bihar Legislative Assembly. 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. 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 additional charge of Railways.
22 July 2001 – 21 May 2004 Union Cabinet Minister, Railways
2004 Re-elected to 14th Lok Sabha.
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
26 November 2010 – 17 May 2014 Chief Minister, Bihar as 32nd Chief Minister of Bihar
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 Chief Minister, Bihar[68] as 36th Chief Minister of Bihar


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  2. ^ Nayear Azad and Animesh Singh (8 November 2015). "Opinion: Why Modi's vikas paled before vikas purush Nitish". Deccan Chronicle. Patna. Retrieved 26 April 2017. 
  3. ^ "Nitish Kumar: Bihar's 'Mr Clean' who humbled Narendra Modi". Indo-Asian News Service. Patna: The Free Press Journal. 20 November 2015. Retrieved 27 April 2017. 
  4. ^ Nirmala Ganapathy (16 November 2015). "Mr Clean's tie-up with graft-tainted politician wipes out BJP in Bihar polls". The Straits Times. Retrieved 27 April 2017. 
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  8. ^ Antholis, William (22 October 2013). "New Players on the World Stage: Chinese Provinces and Indian States". Brookings Institution. Retrieved 12 November 2015. 
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  11. ^ "Nitish will be next PM". 
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  14. ^ "Live updates: Nitish Kumar resigns as Bihar CM; Modi welcomes decision". The Hindu. Retrieved 26 July 2017. 
  15. ^ Bihar is run by a peasant Kurmi (Nitish Kumar) Archived 24 August 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
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  24. ^ Famous Indian personalities-Nitish Kumar [2] Nitish, Chief Minister of Bihar
  25. ^ "Railway budget promises reforms~ says minister | India". 21 February 2002. Archived from the original on 7 July 2012. Retrieved 17 September 2012. 
  26. ^ Railway online booking through credit cards
  27. ^ Railway Reservation through internet
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  29. ^ "A triumph in Bihar". The Economist. 25 November 2010. 
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  42. ^ "Live | PM Modi Backs Nitish on 'Joining Fight Against Corruption'". The Quint. Retrieved 26 July 2017. 
  43. ^ "Birthday boy". 
  44. ^ "Political sons shun politics". 
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  47. ^ Simha, Vijay (3 December 2005). "Constant Gardener's turn in the sun". News. Tehelka. Archived from the original on 10 September 2012. Retrieved 26 May 2009. 
  48. ^ When Nitish Kumar cancelled the Modi dinner
  49. ^ Single Man : The Life And Times Of Nitish Kumar Of Bihar
  50. ^ Nitish Kumar: Bihar's renaissance man
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  61. ^ "A Person of the Year: Nitish Kumar". Forbes. 3 January 2011. 
  62. ^ Nitish Kumar, CNN IBN Indian of the year-2010
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  64. ^ "Features". The Times Of India. India. 25 August 2009. 
  65. ^ "Awards galore for Nitish". The Times Of India. India. 24 December 2010. 
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  68. ^ "Nitish Kumar again sworn in Bihar chief minister". 

External links

  • Official Blog
  • Biography on Bihar Government website
Preceded by
President's rule
Chief Minister of Bihar
24 November 2005 – 17 May 2014
Succeeded by
Jitan Ram Manjhi
Preceded by
Jitan Ram Manjhi
Chief Minister of Bihar
22 February 2015 –
Succeeded by
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