Nitish Kumar achieves unique feat, takes oath as chief minister for 7th time

By Gyanendra Kumar Keshri

Nitish Kumar took oath as the chief minister of Bihar for the seventh time on Monday, equalling the record set by former Goa’s chief minister Pratap Singh Rane. This is also the fourth straight term as chief minister of Bihar for Nitish Kumar who will turn 70 on March 1, 2021.

Kumar is the second-longest serving chief minister of Bihar, after Shri Krishna Singh, the first chief minister of Bihar, who served from April 1946 to till his death on 31 January 1961.

So far Nitish Kumar has served as chief minister of Bihar for 14 years and 2 months in three different tenures.

Although in terms of tenure, several leaders are ahead, Pratap Singh Rane had the record of taking oath as chief minister for seven times. Now Nitish Kumar has equalled that record.

Rane had taken oath as chief minister of Goa on seven occasions between 1980 and 2007. He resigned mid-term multiple times. The third position is held by AIADMK leader J. Jayalalithaa who took oath as chief minister six times between 1989 and till her death in 2016.

In terms of tenure, Pawan Kumar Chamling holds the record. Chamling served as chief minister of Sikkim for 24 years and 5 months. Jyoti Basu served as chief minister of West Bengal for 23 years and 4 months. Basu holds the record of second longest serving chief minister in India. Gegong Apang served as chief minister of Arunachal Pradesh for 22 years and 8 months. Navin Patnaik is the longest serving CM in office. Patnaik is the chief minister of Odisha for the past 20 years and 8 months.

Nitish Kumar first become chief minister in March 2000 when he was part of Samata Party. However, his government lasted just for a week as Samata Party-BJP alliance lacked a majority. Kumar’s first stint as CM was from 3 March 2000 to 10 March 2000. He had resigned before a trust vote.

Kumar was next sworn in as chief minister on 24 November 2005 after the JD(U)-BJP alliance won the 2005 Assembly elections. Kumar returned to power in 2010, leading the JD(U)-BJP coalition to a landslide victory in the assembly polls.

However, Kumar resigned as chief minister in May 2014, taking responsibility for the JD(U)’s poor performance in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Kumar’s JD(U) had snapped ties with the BJP in 2013 when then Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi was anointed the BJP’s campaign committee chief for the 2014 Lok Sabha election.

JD(U) contested the 2014 Lok Sabha polls alone and won just two seats. BJP swept the Parliamentary election and Narendra Modi become the prime minister. Owning moral responsibility for his party’s drubbing in the Lok Sabha election, Kumar resigned for the CM post. Jitan Ram Manjhi took over as chief minister.

In less than a year, in February 2015, Kumar came back as the chief minister. He led the Grand Alliance consisting of JD(U), RJD and Congress party to the victory in 2015 Assembly polls and took oath as chief minister of the state in for the fifth time on 20th November 2015.

In July 2017, Kumar abruptly resigned as the chief minister and again joined hands with the BJP. He took oath as the chief minister of Bihar for the sixth time on 27 July 2017.


On November 16, 2020, Kumar took oath as chief minister of Bihar for the seventh time. Bihar Governor Phagu Chauhan administered the oath of office at Raj Bhavan.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Kumar and assured all possible support from the centre. “Congratulations to @NitishKumar Ji on taking oath as Bihar’s CM. I also congratulate all those who took oath as Ministers in the Bihar Government. The NDA family will work together for the progress of Bihar. I assure all possible support from the Centre for the welfare of Bihar,” Modi tweeted.


Gyanendra Keshri

Gyanendra Kumar Keshri is Editor of BiharConnect and Secretary-General of Bihar Development Forum. He has nearly two decades of experience in media and social work. Gyanendra began his journalistic career with Asian News International (ANI) as a correspondent and held senior editorial positions with Indo-Asian News Service (IANS). Based in Doha he worked as business correspondent with Qatar Tribune newspaper. He is also a Consulting Editor of INCLUSION, a quarterly journal that champions the cause of social, financial and digital inclusion. He has travelled and reported from different locations across the world, including the Middle East, Pakistan, Africa and Europe.

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