Bihar’s Next Chief Minister Should be a Dalit, says Sanjay Paswan

By Team BiharConnect

Senior BJP Leader and Former Union Minister Dr Sanjay Paswan said on Thursday that the next chief minister of Bihar should be from Dalit community. Addressing Bihar Development Dialogue organised by BiharConnect, Paswan, who is also a member of Bihar’s Legislative Council, said it is the “aspiration” of the Dalit Society to see a natural CM from the community.

He pointed out that there have been three chief ministers from the Dalit community in Bihar so far, but none of them had acquired the position in a natural manner.

“Till now Dalits have been made chief minister of Bihar like cricket’s night watchman,” said Paswan alluding how the Dalit leaders like Jitan Ram Manjhi, Ram Sundar Das and Bhola Paswan Shastri were installed in the position just to keep the chair warm till the warring factions settle their issues and acquired the chair again.

“Bhola Paswan Shastri became chief minister because of the fight between Bhumihars and Rajputs. Ram Sundar Das became CM because of the fight between backward and forward. Jitan Ram Manjhi became CM at a time when JDU was under attack. In those days JDU was in a lot of problems. These people were put in the position as a crisis manager,” he said.

“Now the time has come to have a Swablambi (self-reliant) Dalit CM in Bihar. The atmosphere is favourable for it. All the parties should work in this direction,” Paswan added without taking name of any particular party.

The ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) coalition in Bihar consists of Nitish Kumar led Janata Dal (United), Bharatiya Janata Party and Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party. Barring a short stint of Jitna Ram Manjhi, Nitish Kumar, a backward leader, has been the chief minister of Bihar since 2005. Before Kumar, Lalu Prasad Yadav and his wife Rabri Devi ruled the state for 15 years. So leaders from backward community have been ruling Bihar for the past 30 years.

Paswan, who served as a Union Minister of State for Human Resource Development, Social Justice and Empowerment and IT and Telecommunications in Atal Bihari Vajpayee government, said now the time has come that the leadership of the state is passed on to Dalit community as it was done from forward to backward community.

“If the stream of social justice is to be taken forward in the true sense, then the way the backward took from the upper castes, now the Dalits should take over from the backwards.”

“If the stream of social justice is to be taken forward in the true sense, then the way the backward took from the upper castes, now the Dalits should take over from the backwards. This is the need of the day and this is also the natural path of politics – from upper castes to the backward community and now from backward to Dalit community,” Paswan said.

“It is our aspiration to have a Dalit CM in Bihar through a natural course,” he added.

Paswan said the issues of migrant labourers and unemployment would be among the major factors in the upcoming general election for Bihar Legislative Assembly. The term of the current legislative assembly of Bihar expires on 29th November 2020,

He claimed that around 50 lakh workers have returned to Bihar since the imposition of lockdown in the last week of March to control Covid-19 outbreak.

“The official estimate is of around 30 lakh. A large number of people have come on their own. Many came by bicycle, rickshaw, auto and even on foot. My guess is around 50 lakh workers have returned to Bihar,” said Paswan.

Replying to a question on the need for a creamy layer in reservation for Scheduled Castes, Paswan said there was a need to overhaul the system of reservation. He said nobody should be allowed to avail reservation for the fourth time.

“There should be the principle of no more four. If three generations of a family has taken the benefits of the reservation, it should not be given to the fourth and the subsequent generation. This rule should apply in politics, jobs and all other fields,” he said.

So far, 23 people have occupied the chair of chief minister of Bihar. Several of them served for multiple terms. For example, the first Dalit chief minister of the state Bhola Paswan Shastri took oath thrice but his tenure were only in days and months. Shastri’s first term as chief minister lasted for just over three months from 22 March 1968 to 29 June 1968. His second term was just for 13 days from 22 June 1969 to 4 July 1969. He became chief minister for the third time in 1971. Although that tenure was comparatively longer but did not last for a year. His third term was from 2 June 1971 to 9 January 1972.

In the past 74 years chief ministers in Bihar have changed 33 times. Apart from this President’s Rules have been imposed in Bihar 7 times so far. The shortest tenure as chief minister of Bihar was of Satish Prasad Singh, who occupied the chair just for five days from 28 January 1968 to 1 February 1968.


List of Chief Minister of Bihar

Sr. No Name Tenure

Shri Krishna Singh

2 April 1946 – 31 Jan 1961


Deep Narayan Singh

1 Feb 1961-18 Feb 1961


Binodanand Jha

18 Feb 1961- 2 Oct 1963


K. B. Sahay

2 Oct 1963 – 5 March 1967


Mahamaya Prasad Sinha

5 March 1967 – 28 Jan 1968


Satish Prasad Singh

28 Jan 1968 – 1 Feb 1968 (5 days the shortest period)


B.P. Mandal

1 Feb 1968 – 2 March 1968


Bhola Paswan Shastri

22 March 1968 – 29 June 1968,

22 June 1969 – 4 July 1969,

2 June 1971 – 9 Jan 1972


Harihar Prasad Singh

26 Feb 1969 – 22 June 1969


Daroga Prasad Rai

16 Feb 1970 – 22 Dec 1970


Karpoori Thakur

22 Dec 1970 – 2 June 1971

24 Jun 1977 – 21 April 1979


Kedar Pandey

19 March 1972 – 2 July 1973


Abdul Gafoor

2 July 1973 – 11 April 1975


Jagannath Mishra

11 April 1975 – 30 April 1977,

8 June 1980 – 14 August 1983

6 Dec 1989 – 10 March 1990

15 Ram Sundar Das

21 April 1979 – 17 Feb 1980


Chandra Shekhar Singh

14 August 1983 – 12 March 1985

17 Bindeswari Dubey

12 March 1985 – 13 Feb 1988


Bhagwat Jha Azad

14 Feb 1988 – 10 March 1889


Satyendra Narayan Sinha

11 March 1989 – 6 Dec 1989


Lalu Prasad Yadav

10 March 1990 – 28 March 1995

4 April 1995 – 25 July 1997


Rabri Devi

25 July 1997 – 11 Feb 1999

9 March 1999 – 2 March 2000

11 March 2000 – 6 March 2005


Nitish Kumar

3 March 2000 – 10 March 2000

24 Nov 2005 – 24 Nov 2010

26 Nov 2010 – 17 May 2014

22 Feb 2015 – till date

23 Jitan Ram Manjhi 20 May 2014 – 22 Feb 2015

President’s Rules have been imposed in Bihar 7 times so far


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