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Patna: The person who began off with a voter base constituting 2 per cent of Bihar’s inhabitants — members of his caste, the Kurmis, primarily concentrated in and around Nalanda district — in 1994, when he separated from Lalu Prasad and fashioned his personal celebration, is all set to be sworn in as Bihar Chief Minister for the seventh time.
If Nitish Kumar completes this time period, he’ll turn into the longest-serving Chief Minister of Bihar, breaking the document set by the 18-year tenure of the state’s first CM, S.Okay. Sinha.
To his supporters, the NDA’s lead within the Bihar meeting elections after a neck-and-neck contest with the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD)-led mahagathbandhan, is a testomony to Nitish’s exhausting work, a becoming starting to what might be his final section in lively politics — the CM had announced during the campaign that this might be his final election.
“If the NDA received regardless of a 15-year incumbency, regardless of the Lok Janshakti Celebration (LJP) managing to defeat us in 23 seats — it speaks volumes of the assist base Nitish has retained. The extraordinarily backward lessons (EBCs) and girls have once more stood behind him,” stated JD(U) working president Ashok Choudhary.
Like lots of his contemporaries, Nitish is a product of the J.P. Movement (1974-77) that started as a scholar protest in Bihar however later expanded nationwide as a marketing campaign in opposition to the Emergency imposed by former PM Indira Gandhi. An engineer by qualification, Nitish received his first election in 1985.
Over time, he has come to be often known as ‘Sushasan Kumar’ for his governance acumen, however Nitish has by no means received an election with out allies, be it the BJP now or the RJD and the Congress for a short affair between 2015 and 2017.
In Lalu’s shadow
Nitish was born in Bihar’s Bakhtiarpur district on 1 March 1951. He received his BSc in Engineering from Bihar School of Engineering, Patna. He received married in February 1973, months earlier than he joined the J.P. Motion and was detained below the erstwhile Upkeep of Inner Safety Act (MISA). He has one son from his marriage with Manju Sinha, a instructor who died after extended sickness in 2007, two years after he grew to become Chief Minister the second time.
He first entered the legislative meeting of united Bihar — 15 years earlier than it was break up to carve out Jharkhand — in 1985. Over the next years, he additionally dabbled in nationwide politics as a member of the Lok Sabha and Union minister.
Till their break up within the Nineties, Nitish was seen as content material being in Lalu’s shadow, by no means looking for the limelight for himself. Recognized to be an intensely personal individual, he’s somebody who’s described as proof against the trimmings of energy.
When Nitish Kumar was Union Railway Minister (between 1998 and 1999), Patna railway officers have been shocked someday to search out his spouse standing in a queue to purchase prepare tickets. A railway officer, it’s stated, instantly took cash from her to purchase her the tickets.
His brother-in-law, the late Prabhat Kumar, was a junior railway official who was seen catching a tempo house. “However that’s Nitish Kumar. He by no means mixes household with politics, not like Lalu,” stated a JD(U) chief.
A disastrous begin
Nitish’s maiden political foray following his break up with Lalu was a catastrophe as his celebration — Samta Celebration, which he co-founded with the late George Fernandes in 1994 — received simply seven of the 324 seats within the meeting of pre-bifurcation Bihar.
“There have been talks about Lalu forgiving Nitish Kumar and going to his residence, asking him to rejoin his celebration. However Lalu by no means went and that’s when Nitish Kumar began dabbling in caste and alliance,” stated an outdated Nitish Kumar follower. Nitish and his mentor Fernandes solid an alliance with the BJP and, in 1998 and 1999, the celebration received six and 12 seats, respectively, within the Lok Sabha.
(Nitish held Fernandes in excessive regard. Final yr, after the previous Defence Minister’s dying, Nitish lost his restraint and broke down as he remembered their days collectively.)
His picture as a frontrunner with a robust drive for growth took form throughout his stint as Union Railway Minister, as he pushed many central initiatives to Bihar as a consequence of his proximity with the then PM Atal Bihari Vajpaiyee.
Nevertheless, regardless of beginning 11 new trains and 7 mega initiatives within the state, and carving a picture as a “Vikas Purush (growth man)”, he misplaced his constituency Barh within the 2004 Lok Sabha polls. It was then that he realised that growth was not sufficient.
“The defeat in Barh was a private tragedy. I don’t consider that growth means nothing to voters, however now I’ll defeat Lalu in his personal sport,” he had informed this correspondent on the time.
After the February 2005 elections yielded a hung meeting, Nitish started specializing in EBCs — a gaggle of 156 smaller castes that represent 29 per cent of the votes and the “Luv-Kush relationship” between the Kurmis and the Kushwahas, who represent 8 per cent of the voters (Luv and Kush have been the sons of Hindu deities Ram and Sita, and, in response to the Ramayan, the Kurmis are the descendants of Luv, and the Kushwahas of Kush).
Because the BJP was identified to court docket assist among the many higher castes, the alliance had itself a robust assist base.
Forward of the November 2005 election, the late Arun Jaitley of the BJP recommended that Nitish be made the CM face. It paid off as a big chunk of non-Yadav OBCs swung the NDA manner and received the coalition a washout victory.
Throughout his first time period, Nitish combined constructing of roads, hospitals and faculties with caste politics — bringing in reservation for the EBCs in panchayat and municipal our bodies and making a Mahadalit vote financial institution (the time period initially excluded the Paswan community however was finally expanded to incorporate all of the state’s 22 Dalit communities).
Aside from this, he began the distribution of free cycles and scholarships for women pursuing greater schooling. He additionally launched a 50 per cent quota for ladies in municipal and panchayat our bodies, and launched women-led self-help teams under the Jeevika initiative to assist beneficiaries with interest-free loans.
The temporary break up with BJP
In 2013, Nitish break up from the BJP, reportedly over apprehensions about Narendra Modi’s nomination because the NDA prime ministerial candidate, however the determination proved pricey. Within the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, the JD(U) received barely 15 per cent of the votes. He subsequently fashioned an alliance — the mahagathbandhan — with Lalu and the Congress in 2015, and the coalition received the meeting election that yr. The alliance resulted in 2017, when Nitish returned to the BJP.
By means of all of it, his steps for the welfare of EBCs and girls have endeared him to the teams. Regardless of his numbers happening drastically — as of late Tuesday night time, the JD(U) appeared set to win 43 seats, in opposition to the BJP’s 74 — the BJP will discover it very tough to disregard him, no less than until he’s fascinated by Bihar politics. The query is, how will he administer the state with a wafer-thin margin, with the BJP rising as the massive brother within the NDA.
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