Rashtriya Janata Dal: Electoral Performance, All Chief Ministers

The Rashtriya Janata Dal is an Indian political party, based in the northern state of Bihar. The party was founded in 1997 by Lalu Prasad Yadav.

The mass base of the party has traditionally been backward classes and the party is considered as champion of cause of lower caste politics. In 2008, RJD received the status of recognized national level party following its performance in north-eastern states. RJD was derecognised as a national party on 30 July 2010.

Rashtriya Janata Dal or RJD


Key Description:

Abbreviation: RJD

Leader: Lalu Prasad Yadav

Rajya Sabha Leader: Misa Bharti

Founder: Lalu Prasad Yadav

Founded: 5 July 1997 (23 years ago)

Split From: Janata Dal

Headquarters: 13, V. P. House, Rafi Marg, New Delhi, India-110001


  • Socialism
  • Secularism
  • Progressivism


  • Janata Parivar Alliance (2015-2018)
  • UPA (2004-2015, 2018-present)

Website: RJD

Social Network: Facebook


Rashtriya Janata Dal History

On 5 July 1997, Lalu Prasad Yadav, Raghuvansh Prasad Singh, Kanti Singh along with seventeen Lok Sabha MPs and eight Rajya Sabha MPs along with supporters gathered at New Delhi formed the new political party, Rashtriya Janata Dal. It was formed as breakaway of Janata Dal. Lalu Prasad was elected as the first president of RJD. It is a centre-left party.

In the March 1998 national elections, RJD won 17 Lok Sabha seats from Bihar but failed to make significant headway in any other state. Later that year, the party formed an alliance with Mulayam Singh Yadav's Samajwadi Party as an anti-Bharatiya Janata Party secular coalition but the coalition failed in garnering any widespread support.

In the October 1999 elections, RJD fought the election in alliance with Indian National Congress but lost 10 Lok Sabha seats including the seat of Lalu Prasad Yadav.

In the 2000 state elections, however, it performed well, winning a majority of the seats in the state assembly in Bihar. Continuing its upswing in electoral fortunes, the party won 24 Lok Sabha seats in the 2004 elections that it fought in alliance with Indian National Congress. It was a part of Indian National Congress led United Progressive Alliance from 2004 to May 2009, wherein Prasad held the position of the Minister of Railways.

In February 2005 Bihar Legislative Assembly election RJD won only 75 seats and lost the power. In the state elections held later that year - as a result of no party being able to form a government and RJD continued its downward slide losing 21 seats.

In 2009 Indian general election, the RJD broke its alliance from UPA when seat sharing talks failed. RJD formed its alliance with Ram Vilas Paswan's Lok Janshakti Party and Mulayam Singh Yadav's Samajwadi Party what the media has dubbed the "Fourth Front". RJD performed poorly and won just four seats, all of them in Bihar. However, in 2010 Assembly election, the RJD did not continue their alliance with Samajwadi Party.

In 2014 Indian general election RJD came back to UPA and contested election in alliance with Indian National Congress and Nationalist Congress Party in Bihar. Out of 40 seats in Bihar, RJD will contest on 27 seats, INC on 12 and NCP on one. The eldest daughter of Lalu Prasad Yadav, Misa Bharti and his wife Rabri Devi contested from Patliputra and Saran respectively but both lost in election.

RJD won only four out of total forty Loksabha seats in Bihar.

On 14 April 2015, the RJD, Janata Dal (United), Janata Dal (Secular), the Indian National Lok Dal, Samajwadi Party, and Samajwadi Janata Party (Rashtriya) announced that they would merge into a new national Janata Parivar alliance in order to oppose the BJP, thus breaking their long time alliance with the INC. This would give the alliance 14 Lok Sabha seats and 30 Rajya Sabha seats.

On 7 May 2015, the RJD expelled Rajesh Ranjan for six years due to anti-RJD activities after speculation rose that he may join the Biju Janata Dal for the 2015 Bihar Legislative Assembly election but he formed a new party called Jan Adhikar Party.

In November 2015, RJD won the elections as party became the single largest party with 80 followed by Janata Dal (United) with 71 seats, BJP with 53 seats and Congress with 27 seats. In terms of vote share, BJP came first with 24.4%, followed by RJD with 18.4% and JD (U) with 16.8% and Congress got 6.7%. Janata Dal (United)'s Nitish Kumar became the Chief Minister and Lalu's son Tejashwi Yadav became the Deputy Chief Ministers of Bihar.

In July 2017, following the corruption cases against Tejashwi Yadav, Nitish Kumar asked Yadav to resign from the cabinet, which was refused by RJD. In order to protect his clean image towards corruption, Nitish Kumar resigned on July 26, 2017, ending RJD's stake in Bihar government.


Rashtriya Janata Dal Electoral Performance

Lok Sabha elections

Lok Sabha Term Indian
General election
State (seats)
14th Lok Sabha 2004 42 24 Bihar (22) Jharkhand (2)
15th Lok Sabha 2009 44 4 Bihar (4)
16th Lok Sabha 2014 30 4 Bihar (4)
17th Lok Sabha 2019 21 0 N/A


List of Chief Ministers of Rashtriya Janata Dal

Chief Ministers: Lalu Prasad Yadav

  • First term: 1990 to 1995
  • Second term: 4 April 1995 to 25 July 1997

Rabri Devi

  • First term: 25 July 1997 to 11 February 1999
  • Second term: 9 March 1999 to 2 March 2000
  • Third term: 11 March 2000 to 6 March 2005

Deputy Chief Minister: Tejashwi Yadav

First term: 26 November 2015 to 26 July 2017

List of Central Ministers of RJD

No. Name Term of office Portfolio Prime Minister
1 Lalu Prasad Yadav 24 May 2004 23 May 2009 Minister of Railways Manmohan Singh
2 Jay Prakash Narayan Yadav 2004 2009 Minister of Water Resources Manmohan Singh
3 Kanti Singh 23 May 2004 – 28 Jan 2006 29 January 2006 – 22 May 2009 Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Tourism
Minister of Women and Child Development
Manmohan Singh
4 Raghuvansh Prasad Singh 2004 2009 Minister of Rural Development Manmohan Singh