Patna, Nov 17 (PTI) Leaders of the ruling Janata Dal (United) in Bihar were on Tuesday delighted to find among themselves Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, their national president who has been sworn in for a record seventh time.
Kumar, who took oath for yet another term in office the previous evening, drove down to the party's headquarters on Birchand Patel Marg here after completing businesses of the day which included the distribution of portfolios among his cabinet colleagues.
A gigantic poster erected at the front gate summed up the mood in the party, of which Kumar has been the de facto leader since inception though he formally took over as the chief less than five years ago.
'Jisko parkha hai usi ko chunenge' (the one who is tried and tested shall be elected) went the tagline on the party poster which carried an image of Kumar, his characteristic broad smile playing on the lips, alongside.
Leaders of the party's units in Rajasthan and Karnataka had also flown down to join their counterparts in Bihar for celebrating the victory of their leader, who is just a few months short of becoming the longest-serving chief minister of the state.
Kumar shed his normal reserve, mingled freely with his party cadre, was seen waving at them all, greeting them with folded hands and obliging many an enthusiastic worker with selfies.
Many party workers could be seen handing over memoranda, seeking to highlight issues plaguing their particular region which were met with a reassuring smile from the leader.
He was also heard telling the party workers that there was no reason to be 'nirash' (dejected), an apparent reference to the JD(U)'s poor show in the recently held assembly polls.
The party fought 115 seats but returned with a tally of 43, getting badly hit by the split in votes caused by the rebellion from former NDA constituent LJP, headed by a belligerent Chirag Paswan.
The JD(U) finished third in terms of the number of seats, way behind ally BJP and adversary RJD. PTI NAC ACD ACD