Over three decades after he opted out of his banking job to join politics, JD(U) heavyweight Vijay Kumar Choudhary was unanimously elected Speaker of the Bihar Legislative Assembly. The journey to the chair saw the soft-spoken leader play number two to CM Nitish Kumar in his previous government as he held the portfolio of the state’s water resources minister.
Choudhary’s elevation came about after JD(U) drove a hard bargain with ally RJD for the Speaker’s post. An upper caste Bhumihar leader, Choudhary kept his prominent position in the Grand Alliance despite the bitter caste divisions playing out during the poll.
On Wednesday, Choudhary (58) became the 16th Speaker and 14th person to hold the position. Son of freedom fighter and former MLA Jagdish Prasad Choudhary, he represents the Sarairanjan assembly segment in Samastipur.
While he’s known as the CM’s close aide, Choudhary began his political journey with the Congress in 1982, when he quit his job as a bank manager to become an MLA.
He also won elections on a Congress ticket in 1985 and 1990. However, he crossed over to the JD(U) after Nitish became the chief minister.