Nitish Kumar Biography
Nitish Kumar served as the Chief Minister of Bihar from November 2005 till May 2014, until he resigned from his post due to JD(U)’s poor performance in the 2014 general elections in Bihar.
He belongs to the Janata Dal (United) party and is credited with initiating a series of developmental and infrastructure reforms in Bihar, one of the most backward states in the country. Appointment of teachers in schools, healthcare reforms, relaying of roads among other developmental activities and keeping a check on crime in the state have cemented his popularity in Bihar.
He was chosen as the Best Chief Minister in India according to the CNN IBN and HT State of the Nation Poll in 2007. Economic times awarded him the title of the ‘Business reformer of the year’ in 2009 and Forbes India awarded him the ‘India person of the year’ title in 2010.
He was born to Kaviraj Ram Lakhan Singh and Parmeshwari Devi on 1 March 1951, in Bakhtiarpur in Patna district, Bihar. Both his parents are now deceased. Nitish Kumar holds a degree from the Bihar college of Engineering from Patna.
In 1973 he married Manju Kumari, a teacher by profession. His wife passed away in 2007. They have a son Nishant.
Nitish Kumar is a socialist political leader. His mentors include top-rank politicians like Ram Manohar Lohia, Jayaprakash Narayan, Karpoori Thakur, George Fernandes, Vishwanath Pratap Singh, and SN Sinha.
In the beginning, Nitish Kumar took part in the campaign led by Jayaprakash Narayan during 1974-1977. His electoral journey first became successful when he was elected as a legislator in 1985. He won the election as an independent.
Nitish Kumar was nominated as the President of the Yuva Lok Dal, the youth wing of the Bharatiya Lok Dal. Subsequently, he was chosen as the Secretary General of the Janata Dal in the state. Nitish Kumar made his entry to the 9th Lok Sabha in 1989. The same year, Kumar won the berth of the Union Minister of State for Agriculture in the V P Singh Government. He again won the Parliamentary Polls in 1991. Nitish got the position of the Deputy Leader of Janata Dal in the Upper House and General Secretary of the Janata Dal.
From 1989 to 2004, his Parliamentary Constituency was Barh, a subdivision of the Patna District.
In 1998, Nitish Kumar became the Union Cabinet Minister for Railways and Minister for Surface Transport and then the Minister for Agriculture in 1998-99. As Minister for Railways, he did a commendable job and developed the infrastructure of railways phenomenally.
From 2001 to May 2004, Nitish Kumar served as the Union Cabinet Minister for Railways in the National Democratic Alliance regime under Atal Bihari Vajpayee. In the Parliamentary Elections of 2004, he participated from Nalanda and Barh, two separate constituencies. Nitish won from Nalanda but could not win from his conventional stronghold Barh. Nitish was nominated as the floor leader of JD(U) in the Parliament.
Nitish Kumar served as the Chief Minister of Bihar for two consecutive terms from 24 November 2005 till 17 May 2014.
As Bihar Chief Minister
Nitish Kumar became Bihar Chief Minister on three occasions and the terms are given below:
1st Term – from 3 March 2000 to 10 March 2000
2nd Term – from 24 November 2005 to 24 November 2010
3rd Term – from 26 November 2010 to May 2014
Awards and Acknowledgements received by Nitish Kumar
- JP Memorial Award by Nagpur’s Manav Mandir in 2013.
- Ranked 77th in the list of top 100 global thinkers by Foreign Policy Magazine in 2012.
- “Sir Jehangir Gandhi Medal” by XLRI, Jamshedpur for Industrial & Social Peace in 2011.
- “India’s Person of the Year”, rated by Forbes in 2010.
- NDTV Indian of the Year in the field of Politics in 2010.
- NDTV Indian of the year in the field of Politics in 2009.
- “Indian of the Year Award” rated by CNN-IBN in the field of Politics in 2010.
- ‘Polio Eradication Championship Award’ by Rotary Internationals in 2009.
- “Business reformer of the Year 2009” rated by the Economic Times.
- The Best Chief Minister, as rated by the Hindustan Times State of the Nation Poll 2007 and CNN-IBN.
- Great Indian of the Year rated by CNN-IBN in the field of Politics in 2008.
Positions Held By Nitish Kumar
- He took part in the first assembly polls as a Janata Party candidate in 1977.
- From 1985 to 1989, he served as a member of the state legislative assembly and this was his first term in Bihar Assembly.
- Nitish Kumar was a member of the Committee on Petitions of the state legislative assembly from 1986 to 1987.
- He was president of the Yuva Lok Dal in the state from 1987 to 1988.
- He was member of the Committee on Public Undertakings in the state assembly from 1987-89.
- He became the Secretary General of Janata Dal in the state in 1989.
- He became a Member of Parliament in the 9th Lok Sabha Elections in 1989. This was his opening term in the Parliament.
- He was member of the House Committee from 1989 to 1990. However, he quit the post later.
- He became the Union Minister of State for Agriculture and Co-operation and served from April 1990 to November 1990.
- He again won the General Elections in 1991 and this was his second term in Lok Sabha.
- He served as the General Secretary of Janata Dal from 1991 to 1993.
- He was elected as the Deputy Leader of Janata Dal in Lok Sabha.
- He was a member of the Railway Convention Committee from December 1991 to May 1996.
- He was nominated as the Chairman for the Committee on Agriculture from April 1993 to May 1996.
- He won the parliamentary elections in 1996 and was a member of the 11th Lok Sabha.
- Nitish Kumar was a member of the Committee on Estimates in the Lok Sabha.
- He also served as a member of the General Purposes Committee.
- He served as a member of the Joint Committee on the Constitution during his third term in the Parliament.
- He was member of the Committee on Defense from 1996 to 1998.
- He contested the 1998 Parliamentary Elections and was elected. This was his fourth term in the Parliament.
- Nitish Kumar was given the responsibility of the Union Cabinet Minister for Railways from March 1998 to August 1999.
- He also served as the Union Cabinet Minister for Surface Transport (additional charge) from April 1998 to August 1999.
- In 1999, he contested the General Elections and emerged victorious once more. This was his fifth term in the Parliament.
- He served as the Union Cabinet Minister for Surface Transport from October 1999 to November 1999.
- He was given the responsibility of the Union Cabinet Minister for Agriculture from November 1999 to March 2000.
- He served as the Chief Minister of Bihar just for seven days in the year 2000.
- He served as the Union Cabinet Minister for Agriculture from May 2000 to March 2001.
- He served as the Union Cabinet Minister for Agriculture with additional charge of Railways from March 2001 to July 2001.
- He continued his tenure as the Union Cabinet Minister for Railways from July 2001 to May 2004.
- He contested the 2004 Parliamentary Elections and was successful in becoming a Member of Parliament for the sixth time.
- He served as a member of the Committee on Coal and Steel in the 14th Lok Sabha.
- He was also a member of the General Purposes Committee.
- He was nominated as a member of the Committee of Privileges.
- He was elected as the leader of the floor for Janta Dal (United) in the Parliament.
- He served as the Chief Minister of Bihar from November 2005 to November 2010.
- He was the Chief Minister of Bihar from November 2010 till May 2014.