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Rise and rise of Sanjay Jha: Nitish’s man Friday and key NDA mover to JD(U)’s first working president

JD(U) Rajya Sabha MP and former Bihar cabinet minister Sanjay Kumar Jha, who was appointed as the party working president at its national executive meeting in Delhi Saturday, has become the first person to hold this position. Jha, a close aide of JD(U) president and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, had been the party’s national general secretary since 2017 and was recently named the party leader in the Rajya Sabha, where he has been an MP since April this year.

“I am thankful to our national president and Bihar CM (Nitish Kumar) for having given me a key responsibility. As the party’s working president, my role is onerous. I have to work to further expand the base of the party,” Jha told The Indian Express.

Among the main reasons behind Jha’s elevation is his close relationship with Nitish. The 56-year-old Jha, who holds a master’s degree in medieval history from the Jawaharlal Nehru University, has long been the JD(U) supremo’s key lieutenant. He was said to have played a leading role in reuniting the JD(U) with the BJP and paving the way for Nitish’s return to the BJP-led NDA in January this year.

“After the INDIA bloc’s Mumbai meeting did not consider making Nitish Kumar its national convener, there was little left in the INDIA bloc for Nitish Kumar to stay on. Jha is one of the key party leaders who had been instrumental in our switchover to the NDA,” said a JD(U) leader.

Earlier, there was a buzz that Jha was in the race for a ministerial berth in the Narendra Modi-led NDA government 3.0, which went to the JD(U)’s Munger MP Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan Singh, the former party president whom Nitish replaced replaced in December last year.

Nitish had also been looking for a trusted leader who could share his

Read more on indianexpress.com