Raghunath Jha

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Raghunath Jha
In office
2004 to 2009
Constituency Bettiah
Personal details
Born (1939-08-09) 9 August 1939 (age 77)
Sitamarhi, Bihar
Political party SP
Spouse(s) Dev Karma Devi
Children 1 son and 1 daughter
Residence Bettiah
Website www.samajwadiparty.in/

Raghunath Jha (born 9 August 1939) was Union minister of State for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprise and member of the 14th Lok Sabha of India. He represented the Bettiah constituency of Bihar and was a member of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) political party. He resigned from the primary membership of Rashtriya Janata Dal on 3 September 2015.

A shrewd politician, and the Brahmin face of the RJD in the Lok Sabha, he entered active politics in 1960s as a Socialist before switching over to the Indian National Congress, the Janata Party, RJD, Janata Dal (United) and finally rejoining Lalu Prasad's party.

An ardent follower of former prime minister Chandra Shekhar, the 73-year-old Jha remained a member of Socialist Party till 1972 before switching over to the Congress and successfully contesting the assembly elections from Sheohar.

He represented the constituency in 1972, 1977 and 1980 on the Congress ticket and became a minister in the erstwhile Jagannath Mishra ministry in Bihar. As he paraded in favour of Mishra before the Raj Bhavan in 1985 in support of the latter's candidature for the post of chief minister and ouster of the then chief minister Bhagwat Jha Azad, Jha was denied re-nomination from Sheohar for "disobeying" the Congress leadership. Jha then resigned from the Congress' primary membership and secured a Janata Party ticket when Shekhar was its president. He won the elections to the Sheohar assembly seat for the fourth time in a row.

After merger of former prime minister V P Singh's Jan Morcha, Janata Party and Lok Dal of former deputy prime minister Devi Lal in Bangalore in 1988, Jha was made the state president of Janata Dal in Bihar. But his relations with Singh were not going well and he was removed from the post within three months. A few months after his removal, Jha was made chairman of the party's parliamentary board in Bihar following Shekhar's intervention.

He was pitted as chief ministerial candidate against Prasad and former chief minister Ramsunder Das by Shekhar in a triangular contest in 1990 but lost.

On 3 September 2015, Jha left the RJD joined the Samajwadi Party, becoming the latter's first MLA in Bihar.[1] He also accused Prasad of ignoring senior leaders in a bid to promote his family members in the party. Jha's son, Ajit Kumar Jha, would also join the SP, giving the party 2 MLAs in Bihar.


  1. ^ http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Senior-leader-Raghunath-Jha-quits-RJD-to-join-SP/articleshow/48789621.cms

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