Janata Dal (United)
President : Nitish Kumar
LeaderNitish Kumar
PresidentNitish Kumar
ChairmanNitish Kumar
Lok Sabha LeaderDileshwar Kamait
Rajya Sabha LeaderSanjay Kumar Jha
Founded30 October 2003 (20 years ago) (30 October 2003)
Merger of
Headquarters7, Jantar Mantar Road, New Delhi, India-110001
NewspaperJD(U) Sandesh
Student wingChhatra JDU
Youth wingYuva JDU
Women's wingMahila JDU
Political positionCentre to centre-left[3]
ECI StatusBihar, Arunachal Pradesh,Nagalandand Manipur (State Party)
Seats in Lok Sabha
12 / 543
Seats in Rajya Sabha
4 / 245
Seats in State Legislative Assemblies
Number of states and union territories in government
2 / 31
Election symbol
Party flag

Janata Dal (United) ("People’s Party (United)"), abbreviated as JD(U), is an Indian political party with political presence mainly in eastern and north-eastern India.[4] JD(U) is recognised as a state party in the States of Bihar, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur and is a part of government in Bihar. JD(U) heads the government in Bihar and has remained the second largest party in Manipur.[5][6][7] JD(U) won 16 seats in the 2019 Indian general election, making it the seventh largest party in the Lok Sabha. JD(U) states that they believe in promoting social justice and lifting up marginalized peoples.[8]

The Janata Dal (United) was formed with the merger of the Sharad Yadav faction of the Janata Dal, the Lok Shakti Party and the Samata Party on 30 October 2003. But the Election Commission of India refused the merger of the Samata Party, then Brahmanand Mandal became the president, but he was suffering from Alzheimer's disease and not physically well, so Uday Mandal became president[9] and he has taken charge of the Samata Party.[10][11] Janata Dal (United)'s party mentor and patron is the veteran socialist leader George Fernandes.[12] JD(U) is currently a part of the National Democratic Alliance.



Posters of Janta Dal (United) near its headquarter, at Bir Chand Patel Path, Patna.

The Janata Dal (United)'s origins go back to before the 1999 General Election. A faction led by then Chief Minister of Karnataka J. H. Patel had lent support to the National Democratic Alliance, leading to the split in the Janata Dal leading to the formation of Janata Dal (Secular) under H. D. Deve Gowda, who wanted to remain equidistant from both national parties; and Janata Dal under Sharad Yadav was called Janata Dal (United).[13]

The Janata Dal (United) was formed with the merger of the Sharad Yadav faction of the Janata Dal, the Lok Shakti and the Samata Party.[14] On 30 October 2003, the Samata Party led by George Fernandes and Nitish Kumar merged with the Janata Dal. The merged entity was called Janata Dal (United) with the arrow symbol of Janata Dal (United) and the green and white flag of the Samata Party.[12] The uniting force is believed to be common opposition to Rashtriya Janata Dal in Bihar especially after the Rashtriya Janata Dal welcomed Samata Party rebels like Raghunath Jha into the party.


Nitish Kumar addressing at National Development Council 52nd meeting, New Delhi in 2006.

JD(U) joined NDA and along with its alliance partner, the BJP defeated the RJD-led UPA government in Bihar in November 2005. New government was headed by JD(U) leader, Nitish Kumar and NDA continued to govern state. The alliance contested 2009 Indian general election and won 32 seats. BJP won 12 while JD(U) won 20.[15] JD(U) won 115 and BJP won 91 seats in 2010 Bihar Legislative Assembly election. Thus together holding 206 seats in 243 member Bihar Legislative Assembly.

Out of NDA

JD(U) broke its 17 years old alliance with the BJP in Bihar in protest against the elevation of Narendra Modi as ahead of the election campaign committee of BJP for 2014 Indian general election. JD(U) President Sharad Yadav and then Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar announced their end of coalition at a press conference on 16 June 2013, exactly a week after Narendra Modi was made the BJP's campaign committee chairman, who was later made the prime ministerial candidate of NDA. Just after this split, Sharad Yadav relinquished his position as the NDA convenor.

The JD(U) contested the election in Bihar in an alliance with the Communist Party of India but they won only two seats out of total forty seats of Bihar while the BJP-LJP alliance won 31 seats.[15][16][17] Following poor performance in election, Nitish Kumar resigned as Chief Minister of Bihar and Jitan Ram Manjhi sworn in as a new Chief Minister. When the trust vote was demanded by the BJP to prove majority in Bihar Legislative Assembly, the RJD supported the JD(U) in the assembly on 23 May 2014 to pass the majority mark.[18]

The Mahagathbandhan (Grand Alliance)

On 29 December 2014, Kerala-based Socialist Janata (Democratic) merged with the JD(U) with its leader M.P. Veerendra Kumar, accepting the party flag from JD(U) leader Nitish Kumar. This was an important milestone in bringing a pan-Indian appeal to the JD(U) which is largely limited to the state of Bihar. [19]

On 14 April 2015, the JD(U), Janata Dal (Secular), Rashtriya Janata Dal, the Indian National Lok Dal, Samajwadi Party, and Samajwadi Janata Party announced that they would merge into a new national Janata Parivar alliance in order to fight against the BJP in cooperation with one another, thus leaving the UPA. But for some reason this did not take place and the Samajwadi Party was subsequently offered 3 seats out of an assembly of 243 in the Bihar elections. Unhappy with this deal, it left the alliance and fought the elections separately.[20] On 9 May, MLA Jitan Ram Manjhi was expelled from the JD(U) and he later founded the Hindustani Awam Morcha along with 17 other dissent JD(U) MLAs.[21]

In the 2015 Bihar Legislative Assembly election JD(U) contested the election in an alliance with the RJD and Congress. It won 71 seats out of the 101 seats it contested and the alliance won 178 seats out the 243 seats in the assembly. Subsequently, Nitish Kumar again became the Chief Minister of Bihar.

In the biennial elections to the Rajya Sabha held in March 2016, the ruling UDF of Kerala state gave one seat to JD(U) Kerala State Unit President M.P. Veerendra Kumar. In spite of having just 2 MLAs in the Legislative Assembly, the Congress gave a berth to its ally.[22]

Alliance with NDA

On 26 July 2017 5 pm, Nitish Kumar tendered his resignation as Chief Minister of Bihar, ending 20-month-old Mahgathbandhan (grand alliance) rule. The next day on 27 July 2017 10 am he again took oath as Chief Minister of Bihar with the support of BJP. Same day evening, Kerala JD(U) chief M.P. Veerendra Kumar announced the split of Kerala unit of the JD(U) from the party, due to Nitish Kumar led Bihar unit joined hands with the BJP.[23] On 28 July 2017, new NDA government won trust vote in Bihar assembly by 131 votes in favour and 108 against, four legislators did not vote.[24]

Out of NDA

On 9 August 2022, Nitish Kumar announced that the JD(U)'s alliance with the BJP in the Bihar Legislative Assembly was over.[25] He further made a claim that the new government in Bihar, a coalition of nine parties including the RJD and the INC would be a "Mahagathgandhan 2.0."

Reorganisation after 2020 Assembly elections

The JD(U), just like its parent Samata Party, had the core support of Kushwaha and Kurmi caste, which emanated from the great rally organised in 1993 at Gandhi Maidan, Patna. In 2020 Assembly elections, the party performed badly, and its seats in Bihar Legislative Assembly reduced to 43 from 75 in 2015 elections. The breakaway of the faction led by Upendra Kushwaha, who founded Rashtriya Lok Samata Party, was recognised as one of the principal reason behind reduction in support base of the party in many constituencies. In a bid to retain its support amongst its core vote base, the party made several organisational changes, like appointing Ramchandra Prasad Singh as national president of the party and Umesh Kushwaha as the state president. Meanwhile, it also tried to give effect to the merger of the Upendra Kushwaha led RLSP with itself. The RLSP was formed as a result of a split in JD(U) in 2013. Immediately after the merger, Upendra Kushwaha was made president of parliamentary board of the party.[26][27]

Electoral performance

Lok Sabha elections

Lok Sabha Election Seats
Votes Polled % of
State (seats) Ref.
14th Lok Sabha 2004 73 8 91,44,963 2.53 Bihar (6)
Uttar Pradesh(1)
15th Lok Sabha 2009 27 20 59,36,786 1.5 Bihar (20) [28]
16th Lok Sabha 2014 93 2 59,92,281 1.08 Bihar (2) [28]
17th Lok Sabha 2019 24 16 89,26,679 1.45 Bihar(16) [28] [1]
18th Lok Sabha 2024 16 12 80,25,000 1.25 Bihar(12) [28]

Assembly elections

Vidhan Sabha Assembly Election Seats Contested Seats Won % of votes % of votes in
seats contested
Party Votes Ref.
Bihar Legislative Assembly
12th Vidhan Sabha 2005 February 138 55 14.55 26.41 3,564,930 [29]
13th Vidhan Sabha 2005 October 139 88 20.46 37.41 4,819,759 [29]
14th Vidhan Sabha 2010 144 115 22.58 38.77 6,561,906 [29]
15th Vidhan Sabha 2015 101 71 16.8 40.65 6,416,414 [29]
16th Vidhan Sabha 2020 115 43 15.39 32.83 6,485,179 [29]
Jharkhand Legislative Assembly
2nd Vidhan Sabha 2005 18 6 4.0
3rd Vidhan Sabha 2009 14 2 2.78 285,565
4th Vidhan Sabha 2014 11 0 0.96 133815
5th Vidhan Sabha 2019 45 0 0.73 110120 [30]
Arunachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly
7th 2019 14 7 9.89 61,324 [citation needed]
Manipur Legislative Assembly
13th 2022 38 6 10.77 200,100 [citation needed]

Prominent members

List of chief ministers

Chief ministers of Bihar

No Name Constituency Term of office Tenure length Assembly Ministry
1 Nitish Kumar MLC 24 November 2005 26 November 2010 8 years, 177 days 14th Nitish Kumar II
26 November 2010 20 May 2014 15th Nitish Kumar III
2 Jitan Ram Manjhi Makhdumpur 20 May 2014 22 February 2015 278 days Manjhi
(1) Nitish Kumar MLC 22 February 2015 20 November 2015 9 years, 132 days Nitish Kumar IV
20 November 2015 26 July 2017 16th Nitish Kumar V
26 July 2017 16 November 2020 Nitish Kumar VI
16 November 2020 9 August 2022 17th Nitish Kumar VII
9 August 2022 31 January 2024 Nitish Kumar VIII
31 January 2024 Incumbent Nitish Kumar IX

List of ministers in union government

No. Portrait Name Term in office Portfolio Prime Minister
Sharad Yadav
1999 2004 Minister of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution

Minister of Labour and Employment,Minister of Civil Aviation

Atal Bihari Vajpayee
Nitish Kumar
1999 2004 Union Minister of Railways

Union Minister of Agriculture Union Minister of Surface Transport

George Fernandes
21 October 2001 22 May 2004 Minister of Defence
Ramchandra Prasad Singh
(b.1958)MP from Rajya Sabha
7 July 2021 30 June 2022 Union Minister of Steel Narendra Modi
Lalan Singh
(b.1955)MP from Munger
7 June 2024 Incumbent Union Minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying

Union Minister of Panchayati Raj

Ram Nath Thakur(b.1945)

MP from Rajya Sabha

9 June 2024 Incumbent Minister of State (India) for Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers' Welfare

National presidents

No. Portrait Name
Term in office
Assumed office Left office Time in office
1 Sharad Yadav
30 October 2003 10 April 2016 12 years, 163 days
2 Nitish Kumar
10 April 2016 27 December 2020 4 years, 261 days
3 Ramchandra Prasad Singh
27 December 2020 6 July 2022 1 year, 191 days
4 Lalan Singh
31 July 2021 29 December 2023 2 years, 151 days
(2) Nitish Kumar
29 December 2023 Incumbent 187 days

See also


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