Former Bihar Chief Minister Satyendra Narayan Sinha died here on Monday morning, his family said. He was 89.
Sinha, a seven-time Lok Sabha member, breathed his last at 7:40 am. He leaves behind wife and former MP Kishori Sinha, son Nikhil Kumar, sitting MP from Aurangabad and former Delhi police commissioner. Nikhil Kumar’s wife is also a former MP.
Popularly known as Chhote Saheb, he was ailing for the last few years and his condition had deteriorated ever since he suffered two strokes in May this year.
Sinha, son of former Bihar strongman and minister, Anugrah Narain Sinha, was born at Koima village in Bihar’s Aurangabad district on July 12, 1917. Securing a Bachelor’s degree from Allahabad University in 1939, he became a law graduate from Lucknow University in 1940.
He became a member of the first Lok Sabha from Aurangabad in 1952. He represented the seat seven times. Sinha was a cabinet minister in Bihar’s Binodanand Jha government in 1961 and then in the KB Sahay ministry in 1963.
He was also a member of the Bihar assembly thrice where he represented Nabinagar twice and Gopalganj once. Sinha’s crowning glory came when he became the chief minister of Bihar in 1989 in the aftermath of a revolt by state Congressmen against incumbent Chief Minister Bhagwat Jha Azad for his ‘autocratic’ style of functioning.
However, the same year he saw a new low in the state and his impressive career when communal riots broke out at Bhagalpur, in which over 1000 people were killed. The riots are believed to have caused the alienation of Muslims from Congress in the state where it lost power to Janata Dal the next year.