Jagannath Mishra
Jagannath Mishra

Patna: The oldest loyalist of Nehru-Gandhi family in Bihar politics Dr Jagannath Mishra, more known as ‘Doctor Saheb,’ died at 82 in his Dwarka residence on Monday. He will be cremated at his native village Balua Bazar in Supaul district on Tuesday.

Mishra who had become the youngest chief minister of Bihar at the age of 38 in 1975 occupied the chair of CM thrice, last in 1989, after which the Congress never returned to power in the state. Lalu Prasad had succeeded him in March 1990 wiping out Congress out of power since then.

Mishra had many distinctions to his credit. He had to pass his last days in jail along with Lalu Prasad following his conviction in fodder scam. However, he was acquitted in three other cases related to the scam.

He had been member of all the four Houses of state legislature and Parliament. He was union minister for rural development in PV Narsimha Rao cabinet.

He was loyalist to Indira Gandhi who made her CM in 1975 and again in 1980 and Rajiv Gandhi nominated him CM in 1989 after Bhagalpur riots. He was loyalist of Sanjay Gandhi too and followed the family planning programme vigorously, but was always soft to journalists even during the emergency as no newsmen was arrested nor victimised during the emergency period when he was in power.

He had another distinction of upgrading 106 private colleges into government institutions on a single day. He gave Urdu the status of second official language and introduced the practice of Urdu translation of documents earning him in the name of Maulana Jagannath. His letter heads and board outside the CM chamber read only Jagannath.

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