Nitish touches new milestone, emerges from JP shadow

Sunday, Nov 8, 2015,15:00 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

Patna | On the verge of becoming the Chief Minister of Bihar once again, Janata Dal(United) chief Nitish Kumar has touched a new milestone in his career by steering the grand alliance to victory over a formidable BJP-led NDA.

The feat, in the face of an aggressive BJP campaign, led none other than by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, has helped Kumar emerge as the leader of an anti-BJP front that may give him extra weight in national politics.
The victory also witnessed him come a long way from under the shadow of Jayaprakash Narayan and Ram Manohar Lohia under whose tutelege Kumar had honed his political skills four decades ago. Kumar was born on March 1, 1951 to Kaviraj Ram Lakhan Singh and Parmeshwari Devi in Bakhtiyarpur in a Kurmi family.

His father was a freedom fighter and was close to the great Gandhian Bihar Vibhuti Anugrah Narayan Sinha, one of the founders of modern Bihar. He did his schooling in Bakhtiyarpur from Ganesh High School, completing matriculation.

Sharp and intelligent as a student, he studied in Patna Science College after matriculation. Kumar completed a degree course in electrical engineering from Bihar College of Engineering now known as NIT Patna. He joined the Bihar State Electricity Board, but half-heartedly, and later moved into politics. On 22 February 1973 he married Manju Sinha, by profession a teacher.

His wife, however, died in the year 2007 at the age of 53 years. They have a son Nishant, a graduate from BIT Mesra. Nitish Kumar got attracted to the brand of politics of the socialist leaders such as JP, Ram Manohar Lohia, Satyendra Narayan Sinha and Karpoori Thakur.

He participated in Jayaprakash Narayan’s movement along between 1974 and 1977, and was close to
Satyendra Narayan Sinha, a prominent leader of the time. The political graph of Nitish Kumar witnessed a gradual ascent after he contested for the first time in the assembly elections in 1977 as a member of the Janata Party.

From 1985 to 1989, he was an elected member of the Legislative Assembly of Bihar. From 1986 to 1987, he was the member of the Committee on Petitions in the Legislative Assembly of Bihar.