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Published On: Mon, Aug 19th, 2019

Former Bihar CM Jagannath Mishra,dead at 82

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jagannath-mishra-7a96bbc1-f119-437b-9779-f5a002f8593-resize-750PATNA : Former Bihar chief minister Jagannath Mishra breathed his last in New Delhi. He was a three-time chief minister of Bihar. Mishra was undergoing treatment in the national capital for the past few years. He will be cremated with full state honours. He was survived by his son Nitish Mishra, a BJP politician.

Nitish Mishra, son of the three-time Chief Minister, told that his father, who had been ailing for some time, passed away around 9.45 a.m. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and BJP leader Giriraj Singh expressed grief hearing the news of Mishra’s death. Dr. Jagannath Mishra started his career as a professor.

Once a powerful figure for the Congress in Bihar politics, Mishra first became Chief Minister in 1975 and then returned to office in 1980 and 1989 before Lalu Prasad succeeded him. Mishra was also a former Union Cabinet Minister. His brother, L.N. Mishra, had been assassinated.
Congress interim President Sonia Gandhi condoled the death of Jagannath Mishra, saying he always stood for the interests of the deprived and marginalised minorities in society.”He will be remembered for a long time to come,” she said in a statement.

In 2013, a Special Central Bureau of Investigation in Ranchi along with 44 others in the fodder scam case also convicted him. He was sentenced to four years imprisonment and a fine of Rs 200,000. He was later acquitted on bail.
Though Doctor Sahib, as he was fondly referred to, had stepped out of the spotlight while leading a retired life, Jagannath Mishra was never short of political wisdom and sharp analysis. Many in media and politics recall him as an affable man with a deep understanding of politics and abiding love for Bihar and all its people.

In December 1989, as Congress stared at an electoral setback following gruesome riots in Bhagalpur, Rajiv Gandhi had picked Mishra as Bihar chief minister in an attempt to salvage the state. Mishra ruled Bihar for 95 days in his last stint as Bihar chief minister but could not stop Janata Dal storm to power in Bihar in March 1990.
When the Congress lost power in Bihar, Jagannath was inducted as Union agriculture minister in the PV Narasimha Rao government in 1995. In 1999, he joins Sharad Pawar in opposing Sonia Gandhi on her foreign origin issue. Later, he left the Congress to join the Janata Dal (United) of Nitish Kumar.
Remembering him as a “famous leader and educationist,” Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar paid tributes to Dr Mishra saying he made an invaluable contribution to the politics of Bihar and India. “His death is an irreparable loss in the field of politics, society, and education,” Nitish Kumar said in a statement.
Dr Mishra also had a fair share of controversies in his political careers. One of his most infamous actions was seen in July 1982, when his government pushed the Bihar Press Bill, which prohibited the publication, sale and possession of any printed matter that was “scurrilous” or “grossly indecent” or “intended for blackmail.”

The move was responded with unprecedented protests from newspapers, as journalists staged a protest on the streets. A year after, the then Bihar government withdrew the bill, which was not given the presidential assent till then.
Dr Mishra was also convicted in the infamous fodder scam case. He, however, was granted bail. Dr Mishra always blamed former Congress president Sitaram Kesri for having his name deliberately included in the scam. (With Agency Inputs ).

 

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