Janata Dal (United): History, Performance, Latest News 2020

Janata Dal (United) is a centre-left Indian political party with political presence mainly in eastern and north-eastern India. JD(U) is recognized as a state party in the states of Bihar and Arunachal Pradesh and is a part of government in Bihar. JD(U) heads the government in Bihar and is the second largest party in Arunanchal Pradesh. JD(U) won 16 seats in the 2019 Indian general election, making it the seventh largest party in the Lok Sabha. The party operates on the ideologies of socialism, secularism and integral humanism.

The Janata Dal (United) was formed with the merger of the Sharad Yadav faction of the Janata Dal, the Lokshakti Party and the Samta Party on 30 October 2003. Janata Dal (United)'s party mentor and patron is the veteran socialist leader George Fernandes. JD(U) has been a part of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) since its formation except from June 2013 to August 2017.

janta dal united party


Janata Dal (United) Key Description:

Abbreviation: JD(U)

President: Nitish Kumar

General Secretary: K. C. Tyagi

Lok Sabha Leader: Lalan Singh

Rajya Sabha Leader: Ramchandra Prasad Singh


Founded: 30 October 2003 (16 years ago)

Merger of:

  • Samata Party
  • Lok Shakti
  • Janata Dal

Split From: Janata Dal

Headquarters: 7, Jantar Mantar Road, New Delhi, India-110001

Newspaper: JD(U) Sandesh


  • Socialism
  • Secularism
  • Integral humanism

Political position: Centre-left

ECI Status

  • Bihar (State Party)
  • Arunchal Pradesh (State Party)


Website: JDU

Social Network: Facebook


History of Janata Dal (United)

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).

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. 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. 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.


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. 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. 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.

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.

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 oppose the BJP, thus leaving the UPA but this could not happen for some reasons and then the Samajwadi party was offered 3 seats out of 243 assembly seats in Bihar elections which caused it to leave the alliance and fight separately. On 9 May, MLA Jitan Ram Manjhi was expelled from the JD(U) and founded the Hindustani Awam Morcha along with 17 other dissent JD(U) MLAs.

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.

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. 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.


Electoral Performance

Lok Sabha Elections

Lok Sabha Term Indian
General Election
State (seats)
13th Lok Sabha 1999 60 21 Bihar (18)
Karnataka (3)
14th Lok Sabha 2004 73 8 Bihar (6) Lakshadweep(1) Uttar Pradesh(1)
15th Lok Sabha 2009 27 20 Bihar (20)
16th Lok Sabha 2014 93 2 Bihar (2)
17th Lok Sabha 2019 24 16 Bihar(16)


Bihar Vidhan Sabha

Vidhan Sabha Term General Election Seats
2015 101 71


Arunachal Pradesh Vidhan Sabha

Vidhan Sabha term General Election Seats
7th 2019 14 7


Prominent Members

  • Nitish Kumar, President of Janata Dal (United) & Chief Minister of Bihar.
  • Harivansh Narayan Singh – Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha (2018)
  • K.C. Tyagi, Secretary General & National Spokesperson.
  • Vijay Kumar Chaudhary, Speaker of Bihar Legislative Assembly, Former Bihar JD(U) President, Former Leader of JD(U) Legislature Party,
  • Ramchandra Prasad Singh, National general secretary (Organization), Party leader in Rajya Sabha.
  • Bashistha Narain Singh, Bihar JD(U) President, Member of Parliament in Rajya Sabha.
  • Rajiv Ranjan Singh, Member of Parliament, Former Bihar JD(U) President.
  • Bijendra Prasad Yadav, Minister for Energy, Registration, Excise and Prohibtion, Government of Bihar


List of Chief Ministers

No Name Constituency Term of office Tenure length Assembly
1 Nitish Kumar MLC 24 November 2005 26 November 2010 5 years, 2 days 14th
Nitish Kumar MLC 26 November 2010 20 May 2014 3 years, 175 days 15th
2 Jitan Ram Manjhi Makhdumpur 20 May 2014 22 February 2015 278 days 15th
(1) Nitish Kumar MLC 22 February 2015 20 November 2015 271 days 15th
Nitish Kumar MLC 20 November 2015 26 July 2017 1 year, 248 days 16th
Nitish Kumar MLC 26 July 2017 Incumbent 3 years, 39 days 16th