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Sanjay Jha with Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar

Sanjay Jha Appointed JD(U) Working President Ahead of Bihar Assembly Elections

By Neeraj Kumar

Patna, June 29: In a significant development in Bihar politics, the Janata Dal (United) has announced several major decisions ahead of the upcoming Bihar assembly elections. Among these decisions is the appointment of Sanjay Jha as the working president of JD(U). This decision was made during the National Executive meeting in Delhi.

Sanjay Jha hails from Araria Sangram village in the Jhanjharpur block of Madhubani district and was born on December 1, 1967. He completed his post-graduation at Jawaharlal Nehru University. Initially a member of the BJP, Jha joined JD(U) due to his close association with Nitish Kumar.

At that time, Arun Jaitley was a prominent BJP leader at the Center. Jha maintained a good relationship with him and acted as a liaison between the NDA and Nitish Kumar. This year, Jha played a pivotal role in facilitating Nitish Kumar’s return to the NDA from the Mahagathbandhan, reinforcing Kumar’s trust in him and resulting in his new significant role.

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar during national executive committee meeting of Janata Dal (United) in New Delhi on June 29, 2024. Photo: Aftab Alam Siddiqui

Sanjay Kumar Jha entered active politics in 2004-2005 and became a member of the Bihar Legislative Council in 2006. He is known to be one of Nitish Kumar’s closest associates and has been involved in major party campaigns. Jha has served three terms as a minister in the Bihar government, holding the positions of Minister of Water Resources and Minister of Information and Public Relations.

He has managed the Water Resources Department during three separate terms: from June 2, 2019, to November 16, 2020; from February 9, 2021, to August 9, 2022; and from August 16, 2022, to January 28, 2024.

Currently, Sanjay Jha is the National General Secretary of JD(U), a member of the Rajya Sabha, and the leader of the JD(U) parliamentary party in the Rajya Sabha. His work in Mithilaanchal has earned him a distinct reputation and benefited the JD(U). Despite his involvement in politics, Jha has not contested assembly elections nor achieved success in Lok Sabha elections.

Jha has been a strong advocate for Nitish Kumar and the party, consistently maintaining a distance from controversies. Nitish Kumar has always entrusted Jha with significant responsibilities during both assembly and Lok Sabha elections. In 2014, Jha contested the Lok Sabha elections from Darbhanga, but JD(U), running independently after leaving the NDA, won only two seats, and Jha lost. There was speculation about him contesting again in 2019, but the seat went to BJP following JD(U)’s return to the NDA. In 2024, the Darbhanga seat remained with BJP, leading Nitish Kumar to nominate Jha to the Rajya Sabha to fill the vacancy left by Vashishtha Narayan Singh. Now, Jha serves as the leader of the JD(U) parliamentary party in the Rajya Sabha.

The author is a Patna based journalist

 

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