Bihar CM Nitish Kumar
Bihar CM Nitish Kumar
File Photo

Voting for Bihar assembly elections will be held in three phases on October 28, November 3 and November 7, followed by counting of votes on November 10.

But ahead of polling, you need to know what the major parties are and their Chief Ministerial candidates.

The BJP-led NDA has projected JDU’s Nitish Kumar and incumbent chief minister as their CM candidate.

What we need to know about Nitish Kumar:

Born in a Kurmi family, an agricultural community with just over 3% presence in Bihar, Nitish Kumar earned a degree in electrical engineering from Bihar College of Engineering in 1972 and worked briefly for Bihar State Electricity Board before joining Jayaprakash Narayan's movement against the Congress government. He remained a

close ally of Lalu Yadav before parting ways to form Samata Party with George Fernandes in 1994.

Nitish joined Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s Cabinet at Centre in 1998 as the Minister of Railways. He also served as Minister of Agriculture and Minister of Surface Transport briefly before returning as Minister of Railways in March 2001 where he served till May 2004.

Nitish first became Bihar chief minister in 2000. Although his government lasted for only seven days, he as now seen as direct challenger to Lalu Yadav in the state.

In November 2005 election, the BJP-JDU alliance finally defeated the RJD and Nitish Kumar formed a majority government. He again won in 2010 but decided to end ties with the BJP after Narendra Modi was declared its PM candiadte. He contested the 2015 assembly election with RJD and Congress and took oath as CM for the fourth time.

He ditched the RJD in 2017 to return to NDA fold and has been the chief minister even since.

Criticised for his handling of COVID-19 pandemic and migrant crisis, Nitish is probably facing the toughest election since 2005. It is, however, yet to be seen if Nitish Kumar, will pull off another victory in the face of strong anti-incumbency.

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Free Press Journal