New Delhi: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who has mastered the art of keeping his person and his politics separate turned 69 on Sunday. Born on March 1, 1951 at Kalyan Bigha village in Nalanda, the Janata Dal United (JD-U) president is known for his honesty and simplicity. But at present, he is hitting the headlines, owing to the allegations that he compromised on his socialist and secular ideology by backing the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). Also Read - Bihar Assembly Passes Anti-NRC Resolution; Nitish Kumar Seeks NPR Updation as Per 2010 Format

Let’s take a look at some interesting facts about Nitish Kumar on his 69th birthday Also Read - 'Gandhi And Godse Can't go Together', Says Prashant Kishor; Claims Rift With Nitish 'Ideological'

Nitish Kumar’s father was a freedom fighter and was close to the great Gandhian Bihar Vibhuti Anugrah Narayan Sinha, one of the founders of modern Bihar. Also Read - Nitish Kumar Demands Nationwide Ban on Alcohol, Calls it Mahatma Gandhi's Wish

He earned a degree in mechanical engineering from Bihar College of Engineering (now NIT Patna) in 1972. He joined the Bihar State Electricity Board, half-heartedly. Later, he learnt lessons of politics under the tutelage of stalwarts Jayaprakash Narayan, Ram Manohar Lohia, S N Sinha, Karpuri Thakur and VP Singh.

He stepped into politics in 1971 as a member of Ram Manohar Lohia’s youth wing called Samjawadi Yuwajan Sabha.

He was elected to the Bihar assembly for the first time in 1985. He entered the Lok Sabha in 1989 and went on to win five parliamentary elections from Bihar.

In 2000, he became the chief minister of Bihar for the first time but lasted only for a week. In 2005, he took oath as 31st Chief Minister of Bihar and has secured the place since then, with Jitan Ram Manjhi taking up the post for 10 months.

He is referred as ‘Sushasan Babu’ (good administrator) for keeping crime in check. He had also gained popularity for initiating a series of developmental and constructive activities including a scheme for education of girls.  Under his leadership, the state is said to have recovered from massive economic collapse and powerful corruption.

In 2010, Kumar was also named Forbes’ ‘India’s Person of the Year’. He is just a few months shy of becoming the longest-serving Bihar CM.

Kumar’s nickname is Munna. He is a teetotaler and a non-smoker. His favourite pastimes include reading books and watching films.

He is a widower and has one son Nishant.

How Will he Celebrate His Birthday Today?

Kumar will today launch his party’s (JDU) campaign for the forthcoming Bihar Assembly election, scheduled to be held later this year.

He will address a gathering called ‘Karyakarta Sammelan’  in Patna’s Gandhi Maidan. He is expected to announce his party’s plan for the polls.

The ‘Karyakarta Sammelan’ will be a virtual show of strength by the party, sources close to JD-U stated.

Wishes Pour in

Wishing Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on his birthday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised him as a popular leader who has “risen” from the grassroots. “Greetings to Bihar’s Chief Minister and my friend, Shri Nitish Kumar Ji. A popular leader who has risen from the grassroots, he’s been at the forefront of furthering Bihar’s development. His passion towards social empowerment is noteworthy. Praying for his long and healthy life,” Modi tweeted.

RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav also extended hi best wishes to the Bihar CM. Taking to the micro-blogging site, Lalu Prasad Yadav’s son wrote,”Heartiest birthday greetings to respected Nitish Ji. I pray to god that you live a long life and progress ahead, with self-respect and self-esteem… On the auspicious occasion of your birthday, we expect your cooperation in fight for Bihar’s special status and against unemployment.”