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Know your leader: The political journey of Bihar's famous seven

Namit Hans | Updated on: 24 September 2015, 18:12 IST

The Bihar Assembly Elections promise to be interesting as the BJP plans to continue its success from the 2014 general elections, while the Congress, Rashtriya Janta Dal (RJD) and Janta Dal (United) have formed an alliance to stop the Modi hurricane.

Former Chief Minister and the 'Dalit' face of JD(U), Jitan Ram Manjhi has now formed a new party of his own and will be contesting the elections as a part of National Democratic Alliance (NDA) led by the BJP.

Many leaders will play a crucial role in the upcoming polls in Bihar. Here's a list of the 7 politicians journey so far:

Nitish Kumar


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The current Chief Minister of Bihar, 64-year-old Nitish Kumar holds a Bsc (Engineering) degree and started as a student political leader during the JP Movement. He contested the assembly elections for the Janata Party in 1977 for the first time.

In 1990, he became the Union Minister of State, Agriculture and Co-operation after he was elected a member of the ninth Lok Sabha in 1989.

He was the Chief Minister of Bihar for just seven days in 2000. It was the first time that he held the position in a brief stint from 3 March till 10 March.

After that he served as the state's CM from 2005 till 2014. He was again appointed the CM on 22 February, 2015.

Lalu Prasad Yadav


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Born in 1947, he is the most prominent 'Yadav' leader in Bihar and the leader of the RJD. Lalu has an LL.B. degree and just like Nitish, he also had his first lessons in politics during the Emergency as a student political leader. In 1977, he was elected a member of sixth Lok Sabha.

Lalu was the leader of Opposition in the Bihar Assembly in 1989 while he was serving his second consecutive there as a member.

He served as the Chief Minister of Bihar from 1990 till 1997 and formed the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) in 1997 after disassociating from the Janata Dal.

While the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) was in power during 2004, Lalu was appointed cabinet minister in the railway ministry. He has been appointed as a member of the Lok Sabha five times.

Ram Vilas Paswan


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An LL.B. and D.Litt, Paswan is the 'Dalit' face of Indian politics and currently serves as the Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution.

He won the Lok Sabha elections for the first time in 1977 and was re-elected in 1980, 1984, 1989, 1996, 1998, 2000, 2004 and 2014. In 2000, he formed the Lok Janshakti Party (LJP).

He held positions like Minister for Labour and Welfare in 1989 and Railway Minister in 1996.

Sushil Kumar Modi


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Former Deputy Chief Minister of Bihar, Modi holds a Bsc (Hons) degree from Patna University and has been an active member of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS).

He served as a General Secretary at Patna University Students Union from 1973 till 1977. He was a member of the Bihar Legislative Assembly from 1990-2004. He was also the leader of Opposition in the Assembly in the 1996-2004 term.

Modi became the Minister of Parliamentary Affairs in the Bihar government in 2000 and was elected in the Lok Sabha for the first time in 2014.

Jitan Ram Manjhi


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He comes from a humble background and his parents worked as farm labourers. Manjhi worked at the Gaya Telephone Exchange after graduating from Magadh University.

His political career started in 1980 when he contested on the Congress ticket and won the Assembly elections. Manjhi served as Chief Minister from 20 May 2014 to 20 February 2015.

He launched the Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) in May 2015 after distancing himself from Nitish Kumar. Now he has aligned with the BJP for the current Assembly elections.

Upendra Kushwaha


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Currently serving as the MoS Human Resource Development in the Modi cabinet, Kushwaha is a student of Political Science and the founder of the Rashtriya Lok Samata Party (RLSP).

He got involved in politics as he became the General Secretary of the Yuva Lok Dal in 1985 and then its national secretary in 1988. He became a more prominent figure in state politics when he became the general secretary of the Samta Party in 1994 and served till 2002.

Kushwaha was elected in the Bihar Assembly for the first time in 2000 and became the leader of Opposition in March 2004.

In July 2010, he became a member of the Rajya Sabha and also a member of the Committee of Agriculture in August 2010. He formed his own party on 3 March, 2013.

Shahnawaz Hussain


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The Muslim face of BJP in Bihar, 45-year-old Shahnawaz holds a Diploma in Engineering (Electronics) and has served as the All India Secretary of the BJP youth wing.

In 1999, he was elected in the Lok Sabha for the first time and became the Union Minister of State, Food Processing Industries. He has been appointed a member of the Lok Sabha thrice.

Hussain is also a member of the Delhi Wakf Board and Organising Secretary of the All India IMAM Organisation.

First published: 24 September 2015, 18:09 IST
Namit Hans @HansNamit

Namit works as a sub-editor at the Speed News desk. He is an economics graduate who stumbled into social work after college. His interest in social issues and desire to write sensitising stories led him to journalism. In his free time, he mostly reads about religion and mythology.