A sharp critic of the Congress, has been close to the BJP, who is Sanjay Jha to whom Nitish handed over the command of JDU?

The Janata Dal (United) on Saturday elected party Rajya Sabha leader Sanjay Kumar Jha as its working president. His appointment is significant because of his established ties with the BJP leadership. The decision was taken at a meeting held in Delhi attended by Bihar CM Nitish Kumar along with Union ministers Lalan Singh, Ram Nath Thakur and other senior leaders.

Who is Sanjay Jha?

A close aide of both JDU president Nitish Kumar and the saffron party BJP, Jha served as Bihar’s water resources minister thrice since 2019. Jha, who started his career with the BJP, joined the JDU in 2012 with the ‘consent’ of the saffron party. He contested the 2014 Lok Sabha election from Darbhanga constituency. He lost to BJP’s Kirti Azad, getting 12.61% of the votes. Jha hails from Jhanjharpur district of Bihar. In February 2024, he was elected unopposed as Member of Parliament (India) of Rajya Sabha for Janata Dal (United) from Bihar in place of Bashistha Narayan Singh.

Hailing from the Mithila region of Bihar, he has been deeply involved in the development of the region, initiating projects for infrastructure development and welfare programmes. Sanjay Kumar Jha’s tenure as Water Resources Minister has been marked by ambitious projects aimed at addressing Bihar’s flood issues and increasing irrigation potential. His leadership has seen the implementation of various schemes to reduce flooding and improve agricultural productivity in the state.

Passionate about human welfare, Jha has used his legislative presence and wealth to establish essential facilities such as hospitals, schools and community centres. Notably, he has donated ancestral land for the construction of a trauma centre in Jhanjharpur, highlighting his commitment to public service. Sanjay Kumar Jha’s multifaceted approach to governance reflects his commitment to inclusive growth and sustainable development in Mithila.

A strong critic of Congress

Jha has been a strong critic of the Congress even though the JDU has allied with the grand old party several times. His statement made headlines last month when he said – “Bihar was one of their (Congress’) nerve centres for many years, yet look at what they have given in return. Ever since Nitish Kumar has taken over the reins of the state, Bihari people have given the Congress the same ‘chhi chut’ of neglect. You cannot fool all the people all the time. Bihar has woken up and kicked the Congress.”

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