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Infographic on Bihar Politics

Facts about Bihar

  • Located in the eastern part of India
  • 13th largest state in geographical size (94,163 sq km)
  • 3rd largest in terms of population.
  • Surrounded by: Uttar Pradesh on the West, Nepal on the North, West Bengal on the East and Jharkhand on the South
  • Population:
  • Census 2011: 3rd largest population-wise - 10.41 crore (up from 8.30 crore as per Census 2001)
    • Males: 5.42 crore
    • Females: 4.98 crore
    • Sex ratio: 918 females per 1000 males (lower than the national average of 940)
    • 88.71% population lives in rural Bihar
    • 11.29% population lives in urban Bihar

Brief History of Legislative Assembly Elections

  • First formed in 1937 under the British rule with 152 members
  • First general elections (post-independence) were held in 1952 with 331 members being elected
  • Dr. Krishna Singh the first Chief Minister of Bihar and the first leader of the House
  • Dr. Anugrah Narayan Sinha was elected as the Deputy Chief Minister and Deputy Leader of the House
  • Seats were reduced to 318 by the second general elections
  • The number of seats was again increased to 324 in 1977
  • State of Jharkhand was formed out of Bihar in 2000 and the seats were reduced to 243, a number that still stands

The present leadership of Bihar

Governor: Keshari Nath Tripathi
Chief Minister: Nitish Kumar
Speaker of the House: Uday Narain Choudhary
Deputy Speaker: Amrendra Pratap Singh
Leader of the Opposition: Nand Kishore Yadav

List of Chief Ministers of Bihar

Sri Krishna Singh

Political Party: INC
Tenure:1946 – 1961
First Chief Minister of the state
One of the most respected Chief Ministers of Bihar

--Was a freedom fighter
--Actively participated in the Non-Cooperation Movement and the Quit India Movement against the British Rule

--Earned the epithet of Bharat Kesri
--Credited for abolishing the Zamindari system in India
--Championed the cause of Dalits and was the first to lead them into the sanctum sanctorum of the sacred Baidyanath Dham Temple for the first time
--Largely credited for undertaking social and cultural projects in the state and during his tenure, several educational institutions were also set up
– During the firstfive-year plan,
--Focused on Bihar’s agricultural development
--Initiated several major river projects
– During the secondfive-year plan,
-- Focused on industrial development of Bihar
--Served as a driving force behind setting up of many heavy industries

--Became unpopular with certain sections and thus faced political resistance in the legislative assembly due to his work towards abolishing of the Zamindari system and fighting for the cause of Dalits
--Faced five no-confidence motions but was able to overcome the opposition on all occasions

Lalu Prasad Yadav

Political Party: RJD
10 March 1990 – 28 March 1995
4 April 1995 – 25 July 1997
One of the most widely-written about politicians in India

--Started his career in politics while he was still a student
--Served as the General Secretary and then the President of the Student’s Union of Patna University
--Actively participated in the popular movement against corruption led by Jai Prakash Narayan in the mid-1970s
--Elected to the Lok Sabha at the age of 29 years and was credited as the youngest member of the Lok Sabha.
--Came to power by the popular support from the Yadavs (single largest community in Bihar that comprises 11.7% of population) and Muslim communities.
--Served as the Chief Minister twice. First Tenure: March 1990 to March 1995 and the Second Tenure: April 1995 to July 1997

  • Won recognition from the World Bank for certain developmental works undertaken in Bihar
  • Introduction of English as a subject in the school curriculum of the state-run schools in Bihar
  • Served as the Railway Minister from May 2004 to May 2009.
  • Introduced reforms in the Indian Railways
  • Widely recognised for turning the Indian Railways into a profit making venture for the first time
  • Still remembered for the freedom and support he extended to the management to carry out reforms
  • Remembered for his stand against the Babri Masjid protest led by BJP and his stopping and arresting of LK Advani and his Rath Yatra in Bihar.
--Remembered for his caste-based divisive politics that kept him in power for a long time
--Caste-based politics ended up in widening the caste gap already prevailing in Bihar
--Period of increased lawlessness in the state where vested interests maximised profits at the cost of the state
--Bihar became synonymous with backwardness and corruption during his rule
--Was arrested and sentenced to five years in jail for his involvement in the fodder scam
--Remembered for the making a mockery of democracy by appointing his wife as the Chief Minister while he continued to exercise powers through her

Rabri Devi
Political Party: RJD
25 July 1997 – 11 February 1999
9 March 1999 – 2 March 2000
11 March 2000 – 6 March 2005

--Served three tenures as the Chief Minister of Bihar
--The wife of former Chief Minister and Railway Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav
--Bihar’s first woman Chief Minister despite being illiterate
--Had never been involved in politics nor stood for any elections prior to her becoming the Chief Minister

--Credited for holding her ground to a certain extent despite the handicap of being illiterate and having no knowledge of politics

Brickbats --Was used as a proxy by Lalu Prasad Yadav to continue wielding his political control
--Her appointment stated as misuse of power
--The state saw a spiralling corruption, increased lawlessness and regular administrative lapses during her three tenures
--Inspired neither the state administration nor the masses
--Stood from Saran constituency in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and lost

Nitish Kumar

Political Party: JD(U)
3 March – 10 March 2000
24 November 2005 – 24 November 2010
26 November 2010 – 17 May 2014
22 February 2015 – till date

--Served four terms as the Chief Minister of Bihar
--His first tenure was brief as he was unable to prove majority in the Assembly
--Succeeded in removing the well-entrenched Lalu Prasad Yadav-led RJD from power during his second tenure

--Rightly credited for bringing Bihar back onto the development path
--Set about the task of restoring law and order in the state and brought back dignity and honour amongst honest bureaucrats in the state
--Managed to fast track criminal proceedings and succeeded in checking crime and corruption that was rampant in the state
--Credited for improving the condition of roads
--Credited for path breaking reforms including introduction of the Jankari scheme, which was the electronic version of the RTI Act
--Enabled the common man to get all employment-related information under NREGA on the mobile
--Initiated employment of over 1,00,000 teachers in the state
--Encouraged girl students to attend school by promising them bicycles
--This along with midday meals saw attendance in schools rise significantly
--During his tenure, Bihar saw a spurt in construction and development activity
--The construction average during his five years stint was higher than the national average
--Bihar recorded the highest tax collections in the eastern part of India during his administration
--Initiated the Nalanda University project support from the Centre
--Greatest legacy: Moving Bihar away from caste-based electoral politics to development-based politics

In his latest tenure, Nitish Kumar hopes to consolidate on his earlier initiatives and re-establish his people connect.

--Lost support of certain sections of people who still believe in old world caste-based politics
--His political opponents have been opposing his initiatives
--Failed to communicate his development initiatives to his own traditional constituency, Barh, from where he lost during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections
--Needs to rework on his political base and mend his bridges with the Centre having alienated the BJP

Electoral Profile of Bihar (2014)

  • Total Number of Districts: 38
  • Total Number of Parliamentary Constituencies: 40
  • Total Number of Assembly Constituencies: 243
  • Total Number of Polling Stations: 59,807
  • Total Population of Bihar: 11,16,11,333 (Projected)
  • Total Electors: 6,21,08,447 As per the 2014 list)
  • Male Electors: 3,30,98,022
  • Female Electors: 2,90,08,544
  • Other Electors: 1,818
  • EP Ratio: 0.56 (The ratio was 0.54 in 2009)
  • Epic Coverage: 99.48%
  • Gender Ratio: 877

Voting Trends in Bihar

--In the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, the voter turnout was 58%, which was 12% higher than the turnout in 2009.
--The highest-ever voter turnout in Bihar was 64.6% in the 1998 general elections.
--The lowest voter turnout was 40.5% during the first general elections in 1952.
--The second highest voter turnout was 61.5% during the 1999 elections.
--The second lowest voter turnout was 42.9% in the 1957 elections.
--In 2009, the voter turnout in Bihar was unusually low at only 44.4%.

Economy of the State

Industrial Overview

The development of the industrial sector has been improving over the years after a long period of neglect.
GSDP in 2012-13
At 2004-05 Prices: Rs 1,65,000 crore
Per Capita Income: Rs 16,537

At 2012-13 Prices: Rs 3.09 lakh crore
Per Capita Income: Rs 30,930

Per Capita NSDP
At 2012-13 Prices: Rs 28,317

The industrial sector growth rate was 17.1% in 2012-13, i.e. lower than 28.4% that was achieved during 2010-11.
There were total 1.95 lakh MSMEs in September 2013.
Investment and employment per unit in Bihar remain behind all-India figures.


State has taken several measures to improve agricultural output despite climatic variations, such as excess rainfall and floods or draught, in certain areas.
Paddy is the mainstay and improving productivity has been a major focus area.
A significant section of the population consumes fish and relies on fish farming.

Annual production in 2012-13:
  • Wheat: 61.74 lakh tonnes
  • Maize: 27.56 lakh tonnes.
  • Production of fish: 4 lakh tonnes
  • Fertilizer used: 46.21 lakh tonnes.
  • Output of paddy in recent years: 2240 kg per hectare
Farmers are encouraged to modernise farm production.
Bihar is also a major producer of vegetables and fruits.

8,53,000 hectares of land is under vegetable farming.
2,98,000 hectares of land is used for fruits.

In 2011-12, fruit cultivation was 3,933 thousand tonnes.
  • Bananas – 40.2%
  • Mango – 32.0%
  • Guava – 6.2%
  • Litchi – 6.0%
  • Pineapple – 3.3%
229 food processing units were announced by the government in the state.


  • The state of roads in Bihar has always been a challenge; however, in the recent years, there has been a considerable improvement in both maintenance and building of new roads.
  • 32 National Highways measuring 4,200.71 km run through the state.
  • In the 2014-15 budget, US$ 1654.9 million were allocated for road and highway development.
  • The total length of State Highways is 4,483.19 km with 62% – double lane, 22% – single lane and 15% –intermediate lanes.
  • 9,449.36 km roads of varying widths run through the major districts of the state.
  • The total length of rural roads is 1.62 lakh km.
  • 5,400 km of railway tracks run through the state.
  • The Indian Railways has seen a Union Minister from Bihar for most years.
  • India's second wheel factory was set up at Belapur in Chapra but was bogged down due to quality problems.
Recent Initiatives in Railways
--Creation of the East Central Region of the Railways with its headquarters in Hajipur in North Bihar
-- Announcement of two new locomotive factories in Bihar: one electric at Madhepura at a cost of Rs 1,294 crore and the other diesel at a cost of Rs 2,053 crore at Marhaura


Two main airports:
  • Patna Airport caters to domestic traffic.
  • Gaya Airport is an important airport due to seasonal tourist traffic from South East Asia. It is being developed as a standby to Kolkata Airport.


  • Total power generation capacity of Bihar is only 494.3 MW; however, the generation has rarely exceeded 72.2 MW.
  • Bihar needs significant investment to improve generation and transmission of power from its existing plants.
  • Its deficit is around 30%.
  • Per capita power consumption is 118 kWh (amongst the lowest in the country).
The state is undertaking major investments to improve the power situation and there are several power projects planned in the state.
The sector has accounted for 59.6% share of all the investment in the state.

Other Sectors

  • Bihar is home to two leading institutions of ancient India: Nalanda University and Vikramshila University. With invasion of external armies, these vital institutions were destroyed.
  • There is low literacy rate.
  • Bihar holds maximum migration number as students, seeking higher education, shift to other states.
  • The Central government recently funded the setting up of an IIT and the new Nalanda University in the state.
  • Setting up of AIIMS is under implementation.
  • In the 2015-16 budget, an additional facility of similar class was announced for Bihar.
Number of Educational Institutions in Bihar:
  • Primary Schools: 53,697; total students: 1,04,73,252
  • Elementary Schools: 13,761; total students: 25,48,580
  • Secondary Schools: 4,146; total students: 10,92,237
  • Senior Secondary Schools: 227; total students: 34,842
  • Pre-Degree / Junior College: 537; total students: 3,65,708
  • Board of Intermediate/Secondary Education: 2
  • Degree Colleges: 742; total students: 6,27,338
  • Engineering Colleges: 9; total students: 6,727
  • Medical Colleges: 23; total students: 15,328 (M.B.B.S)
  • All University: 17; total students: 35,006
  • Deemed University: 2
  • Research Institution: 11
  • Teacher Training College: 15; total trainees: 2,735
  • Teacher Training Schools: 195; total trainees: 1,529
  • Technical/Industrial/ Arts & Crafts Schools: 51; total students: 7,049
Crime Rate

According to the NCRB 2013 Report, Bihar has witnessed a progressive increase in the number of registered crimes.
Number of crimes registered:
  • 2010: 1,27,453
  • 2011: 1,35,896
  • 2012: 1,46,614
  • 2013: 1,67,455(14.2% increase in registered crime over 2012)
It represents 6.3% of the total cases registered across India.

There is a legacy of monasteries, temples, mosques and shrines representing almost all religions. Bodh Gaya is home to the famous Bodhi Tree and a popular destination for Buddhist tourists. Bihar Tourism offers a range of tourist itineraries to cater to various interests.

Here is the list:
  • Buddhist Circuit
  • Jain Circuit
  • Ramayana Circuit
  • Sufi Circuit
  • Gandhi Circuit
  • Eco Circuit
  • Medical facilities in the state are not in a very good condition and people travel to other states seeking specialised treatments.
  • Recently, a branch of AIIMS has been set up with another similar level institution.
  • As on 2013, there are 36 district hospitals, 71 referral hospitals, 63 sub-divisional hospitals, 533 Public Health Centres (PHCs), 9,676 sub-Centres and 1,330 APHCs
Last Updated on May 26, 2015