Former Bihar chief minister Satish Prasad Singh
Former Bihar chief minister Satish Prasad Singh
File Photo

Satish Prasad Singh (90), who is notable for having been the chief minister of Bihar for three days during the late ‘60s, died of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in a New Delhi hospital on Monday noon. His wife had passed away from COVID-19 in the same hospital five days ago.

For the uninitiated, Satish Prasad Singh had the distinction of being the chief minister of Bihar for just three days in 1968. He headed a coalition government of the then newly formed Shoshit Samaj Dal along with Congress. In his post, Singh had succeeded Mahamaya Prasad Sinha, the first non-Congress chief minister of the Samyukta Vidhayak Dal in 1967.

He was defeated when B.P. Mandal, of Mandal Commission fame, revolted and formed the Shoshit Dal.

Mandal became the chief minister of Bihar succeeding Singh, but he also remained in the post for merely 30 days, till the time the socialists revolted and the mid-term elections took place.

Satish Singh was first elected to the state assembly from Parbatta in Khagaria district in 1977 and during his very first term, he became the chief minister.

While talking to this scribe in 2015, Singh recalled his days as the chief minister and said that the first thing he did after taking his oath was going to the Khadi Bhawan near Gandhi Maidan to purchase new garments “suitable for the chief minister”.

His exploits range across the spectrum. Soon after getting elected as an MLA, Satish Prasad Singh had in 1977 produced, directed, and acted as hero in a film 'Jogi aur Jawani' which had hit the Patna cinema halls then.

He joined the Congress in 1980 and was elected to the Lok Sabha on his very first attempt. He had joined the BJP in September 2013 but later quit the party after protesting against the poor representation of Kushwahas in the assembly tickets distribution.

As a former chief minister, Singh was allotted a bungalow with security cover, bulletproof vehicle, and private staff on Hardinge Road. However, following orders from the Supreme Court, he had to later vacate the residence, and, much like the other ex-CMs, had to shift to his private house in Ashiyana Nagar.

Singh, along with his wife, had gone to New Delhi ten days back for treatment. While it was his wife who first passed away on October 28, Satish Prasad Singh, too, breathed his last today.

His daughter, Suchitra Sinha, was a minister in the Nitish Kumar-led cabinet and his son-in-law, Nagmani, was a Union Minister of State in the Vajpayee-led government.

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