Nitish Kumar formally takes over as JD(U) president
Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar was officially coronated as the national president of the Janata Dal-United (JD-U) in Patna. JD(U) general secretary KC Tyagi said that Nitish Kumar's election as national president was endorsed by the party leaders and workers across the country at its national council meeting . Nitish, who replaced the outgoing president Sharad Yadav, is JD(U)'s first chief from Bihar.
Janata Dal (United) or JD(U), is a regional political party in India founded by Sharad Yadav. The party traces its roots to the Janata Party, founded by Jayaprakash Narayan in 1977. The Janata Dal, which was a merger of Janata Party factions, the Lok Dal, the Jan Morcha and Congress(S), was split in 1999, to form Janata Dal (Secular) and Janata Dal (United).
In October 2003, the JD(U) merged with the Samata and other smaller parties as a reconstituted JD(U). George Fernandes became the first president of the new party, and Sharad Yadav headed up its parliamentary board.
JD(U)'s political position is centre-left, operating on the ideologies of Integral humanism, Secularism and Socialism. Its major presence is primarily in the states of Bihar and Jharkhand. JD(U) has a negligible presence in the 16th Lok Sabha, having only two seats out of 545. It has 13 seats in the Rajya Sabha. Out of 243 Bihar Legislative Assembly seats, JD(U) has 71 seats.
In June 2013, JD(U) broke its 17 years old alliance with the BJP in Bihar after the latter elevated Narendra Modi as a head of election campaign committee of BJP for 2014 General Election. JD(U) won Bihar elections in 2005, and 2010, in coalition with BJP.
Regionally, JD(U) only managed to consolidate its power in the state of Bihar. After its formation in 1999, Bihar had Chief Ministers from JD(U) between 2005-till date. Nitish Kumar was the Chief Minister from JD(U) for the terms 2005-2010, 2010-2014, Jitan Ram Manjhi from May 2014-Feb 2015, Nitish from Feb 2015-Nov 2015 and Nitish Kumar again as the incumbent CM from Nov 2015.
In 2015 Bihar Assembly elections, JD(U) contested in alliance with its arch rival RJD and Congress to defeat BJP in the polls. The alliance won 178 of the 243 seats to come to power.
Nitish Kumar was elected as the president of the Janata Dal (United), bringing to an end Sharad Yadav's decade-old tenure as party chief after he did not seek a fourth term. "Humbled by party's trust in me. Will try my best to carry Sharad Yadav's legacy forward and I accept the new role as president of JD(U)," Nitish Kumar tweeted after his election.