Jitan Ram Manjhi: From clerk to CM in 50 years

  • Anirban Guha Roy and Anil Kumar, Hindustan Times, Patna
  • Updated: May 20, 2014 21:06 IST

Who would have thought that a man, who started his career as a clerk in the telephone department after completing graduation in 1967, would turn out to be the 25th chief minister of Bihar. But the man with a smiling face, Jitan Ram Manjhi has landed on the chair, which may never have been possible, but for the present political turmoil that hit Bihar on Saturday.

Manjhi’s luck shone when outgoing chief minister Nitish Kumar recommended his name to Governor DY Patil for the high post.

The 68-year-old MLA from Makhdumpur reserved constituency in Jehananad district belongs to the Musaahars caste, classified as Mahadalit these days. But JD-U national president Sharad Yadav described the choice aptly, saying “Gandhiji talked about empowering the last man. Today, we have a chief minister from the most deprived section-the last man, who deserves the throne.”

Read: Jitan Ram Manjhi sworn-in as Bihar's new CM

Just four days back, Manjhi was upset for having lost the parliamentary polls from Gaya by 1.95 lakh to Hari Manjhi of BJP.

Manjhi won his first election to the assembly from Fatehpur assembly constituency in Gaya area on a Congress ticket in 1980. He was again re-elected from the same constituency in 1985 and became the minister of state for welfare in the Bindeshwari Dubey government. In 1990 he lost the assembly election and subsequently lost the parliamentary election in 1991.

Manjhi could not win even in 1995, but in 2000 he joined the RJD and reclaimed the Fatehpur assembly constituency. He was the minister of state for education in the Rabri Devi government. He joined the JD-U in 2010 and successfully contested from Makhdumpur.

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