By Kulveer Sharma | PUBLISHED: 24, Nov 2010, 13:45 pm IST | UPDATED: 25, Nov 2010, 14:11 pm IST
Nitish Kumar, born on March 1,1951, is the 29th and 31st Chief Minister of Bihar. He heads Janata Dal (United). He came to power after ending the decade and a half old Lalu-Rabri raaj in the state.
As the Chief Minister, he gained popularity by building long-delayed bridges, re-laying roads that had ceased to exist, appointing over 100,000 school teachers, ensuring that doctors worked in primary health centers, and keeping crime in check.
Nitish Kumar was born in Bakhtiarpur, Bihar to Kaviraj Ram Lakhan Singh and Parmeshwari Devi. His father was a freedom fighter and was close to great Gandhian Bihar Vibhuti Anugrah Narayan Sinha, one of the founders of modern Bihar. His nickname is 'Munna'. He is a teetotaler, doesn’t smoke, and is a frugal eater. He has a degree in Electrical Engineering from the Bihar College of Engineering, now NIT Patna.
On the personal front
On February 22, 1973, Nitish Kumar married Manju Kumari Sinha, a teacher by profession. They have a son, Nishant, who is a graduate of BIT, Mesra. His wife died in 2007 at the age of 53. He is credited with giving a new face to Bihar after the creation of Jharkhand.
He was first elected to the Bihar Legislative Assembly in 1985 as an independent candidate. In 1987, he became the President of the Yuva Lok Dal. In 1989, he became the Secretary-General of the Janata Dal in Bihar. He was also elected to the 9th Lok Sabha the same year.
He briefly served as the Union Cabinet Minister for Railways and Minister for Surface Transport and then as the Minister for Agriculture in 1998-99. In August 1999, he resigned following the railway accident at Gaisal in North East India.
During Minister of Railways, he made a lot of reforms in Railways. The fruits of his reforms were subsequently enjoyed by incoming Railway ministers like Lalu.
Later that year, he rejoined the Union Cabinet as Minister for Agriculture. From 2001 to May 2004, he served as the Union Cabinet Minister for Railways in the NDA Government of Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
During the 2004 Lok Sabha elections he contested elections from two constituencies, Barh and Nalanda. He was elected from Nalanda but lost from his traditional constituency, Barh. He was the leader of the Janata Dal (United) Parliamentary Party in the Lok Sabha.
In 2000, Nitish Kumar was appointed the Chief Minister of Bihar but had to resign 7 days later (March 3, 2000 – March 10, 2000). In November 2005, he led the National Democratic Alliance to victory in the 2005 Bihar assembly elections bringing an end to the 15-year rule of the Lalu Prasad Yadav-led Rashtriya Janata Dal. He was sworn in as the Chief Minister of Bihar on 24 November 2005.
Under his regime Bihar developed electronic version of RTI Act. In addition to that he also launched the e-shakti, a system by which the rural people can get information through telephone on the jobs available at their location under NREGS. His works clearly made him a winner yet again, when he won the 2010 Bihar Assembly elections with clear majority.
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