Life has come full circle for Nitish Kumar, often dubbed as National Democratic Alliance's perennial chief minister-in-waiting, who finally had a sweet revenge after his brief tryst with chief ministership five years ago without a majority.
Patience finally paid for the 54-year-old Kumar, who has shown that his success was not just a flash in the pan as he led the NDA to a convincing win in the politically volatile state, to end the 15-year reign of Rashtriya Janata Dal supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav.
The then NDA-appointed governor had sworn in Kumar despite his lacking majority and was forced to bow out without facing a trial of strength in the Assembly in the face of a certain defeat.
Referred to as the Chanakya of Bihar politics, Kumar has now come to don the mantle of Chandragupta, the king of ancient Magadh who ended the reign of the Nandas.
Incidentally, Kumar also hails from the backward classes like Lalu, who have come to call the shots in the state politics in the post-Mandal phase.
Blending his secular ideology with pragmatic politics, Kumar, known for his no-nonsense attitude, was condemned to live in the shadow of a charismatic and exuberant RJD boss Lalu for several years.
His hawkish views on job reservations for the other backward classes and Dalit Muslims notwithstanding, the wily craftsman of modern politics did the delicate balancing act to keep the votaries of both Mandal and mandir happy.