PATNA: Hoisting the Tricolour for the 15th time on the occasion of Independence Day, Nitish Kumar on Sunday became the only chief minister of Bihar to have achieved the feat.
This was pointed out by Information and Public Relations Minister Sanjay Kumar Jha who came out with a flurry of celebratory tweets underscoring the fact that his leader has also completed “5,474 days” in power, surpassing the record of late Shri Krishna Sinha, the inaugural holder of the post.
Sinha first occupied the post in 1946, when it was created, and continued to hold it till his death in 1961.
Earlier, he had held the post of “premier” after the Congress won provincial elections conducted during the British Raj as per the Government of India Act, 1935.
Kumar’s stint in power began in November 2015 and it has been unbroken save for a less than a year long break caused by his resignation in May 2014 when he was replaced by his trusted lieutenant Jitan Ram Manjhi.
During his eventful journey, the JD(U) de facto leader has held the top post heading two separate coalitions, the BJP-helmed NDA with which he has remained aligned for the most part of his political career, and the Grand Alliance comprising the RJD-Congress combine, his adversaries with whom he had a short-lived alliance.
In his tweets, Jha, who is also the national general secretary of the JD(U), reflected the mood in the party which has been trying to pick up the threads after a sub-par performance in the assembly polls last year.
He highlighted the “sushasan” (good governance) ushered in by Kumar, drawing a contrast with the preceding 15 years when the state was ruled by RJD supremo Lalu Prasad and his wife Rabri Devi.
“To be called a Bihari had become a matter of shame in those days”, fumed Jha, who has played an instrumental role in keeping things smooth between the JD(U) and the BJP despite ideological differences.
“Nitish Kumar’s leadership instilled confidence in the minds of people who have begun to think that Bihar can make progress and things can change for the better. Let us resolve to make the state a developed one by lending support to his ‘nishchay’ (resolve),” Jha wrote on the microblogging site.