Friday, March 7, 2014

Nitish Kumar emerges as a Prime Ministerial candidate

Note: Nitish Kumar, a Mechanical engineer was first elected to the Bihar Legislative Assembly in 1985 as an independent candidate. In 1987, he became the President of the Yuva Lok Dal. In 1989, he became the Secretary-General of the Janata Dal in Bihar. He was also elected to the 9th Lok Sabha the same year. Nitish co-founded Samata Party in 1994. In 1989, Nitish Kumar was appointed as the Union Minister of State for Agriculture in the Cabinet of Prime Minister Vishwanath Pratap Singh. In 1991, he was re-elected to the Lok Sabha and became General Secretary of the Janata Dal at the national level and the Deputy Leader of Janata Dal in the Parliament. He represented Barh parliamentary constituency in the Lok Sabha between 1989 and 2004.  He has served as the Union Cabinet Minister for Railways and Minister for Surface Transport and then as the Minister for Agriculture in 1998–99. In August 1999, he resigned following the Gaisal train disaster. He rejoined the Union Cabinet as Minister for Agriculture. From 2001 to May 2004, he served as the Union Cabinet Minister for Railways. He was the leader of the Janata Dal (United) Parliamentary Party in the Lok Sabha. He has been 29th, 31st and 32nd Chief Minister of Bihar.


Bihar’s growth rate boosts Nitish’s claim to top job

Bihar is India’s fastest growing State with its Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) growing at 15.05 per cent during 2012-13, the latest data released by the Central Statistics Office shows. It is also the only State to clock a double-digit growth rate. Bihar’s spectacular performance assumes significance given Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s declaration on Thursday that he is better suited than anyone else to be the Prime Minister and BJP leader Narendra Modi’s repeated trumpeting of Gujarat’s economic growth.

According to the CSO data, Gujarat grew at 7.96 per cent, ranked sixth, behind Bihar, Madhya Pradesh (9.89 per cent), Goa (8.47 per cent), Kerala (8.24 per cent) and Odisha (8.09 per cent). The all-India economic growth in 2012-13 was 4.47 per cent.

During Mr. Kumar’s tenure, Bihar’s average growth rate has been 11 per cent as compared to Gujarat's 9 per cent. “All these people who are roaming around, am I any less in comparison? I am more qualified than them,” Mr. Kumar said on Thursday in Bettiah, West Champaran.

Puja Mehra
March 8, 2014 



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