Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Tejashwi Yadav recently challenged his former boss and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to contest Assembly election from the seat of his choice and that he will enter the fray against him. But Nitish has snubbed his challenge and is continuing with his election plan.
Nitish, who is seeking fourth consecutive victory, has been sitting at the helm of state's affair since 2005. He has taken oath as the CM five times -- 2000 (8 days), 2005, 2010, 2015, and 2017. But Nitish never took oath as a member of the Legislative Assembly.
Nitish is a member of the Legislative Council, the Upper House in the state legislature.
He contested election for the time in 1977 from Harnaut seat, but lost. Nitish again contested Assembly election in 1985 recording victory from Harnaut in Nalanda.
Although Nitish contested Lok Sabha elections and won six times (1989, 1991, 1996, 1998, 1999, and 2004), 1985 was the last Assembly election he contested.
When Nitish first took oath as the Chief Minister of Bihar in 2000, he was not a member of either of the houses of Bihar legislature. He had to resign after eight days (March 3, 2000 to March, 10, 2000) as he failed to garner the required numbers in the Legislative Assembly.
When the BJP-JD(U) alliance won in November 2005 Assembly elections, Nitish took the oath of CM for the second time. This time again, Nitish was not a member of either of the houses. Article 164(4) of the Constitution requires a CM or a minister to become a member of the legislature within the period of six months from the date he took oath. So, Nitish was elected to the Legislative Council within the stipulated time early in 2006.
His term ended in 2012. By that time, he had taken the CM's oath for the third time in 2010 when the BJP-JD(U) alliance returned to power with a massive mandate. Nitish was re-elected to the Legislative Council upon expiry of his tenure in 2012.
Nitish's opponents often question whether he is scared of facing voters directly in elections and therefore takes the safe route of the Legislative Council to become a lawmaker.
Back in 2012, Nitish had explained why he didn't contest Assembly elections and chose to become a member of the Legislative Council. Nitish explained that he is an MLC by choice and not because of any compulsion.
When elections were held in 2015, Nitish said that he will not contest because he didn't want to limit his focus on one seat.
Nitish's second term as an MLC expired in 2018 and he was once again elected to the Legislative Council. His third term as an MLC will expire in 2024.