New Delhi, August 19: Jagannath Mishra, former chief minister of Bihar, died after a prolonged illness on Monday. He was 82. Jagannath Mishra served as chief minister in Bihar for three times. Mishra, who started his political career with Congress, was last associated with Janata Dal (United). He was an academic before entering politics.
Prior to the emergence of the social justice forces under Lalu Prasad Yadav, Mishra was the most powerful mass leader in the Congress party. He later quit Congress to join the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP). He switched again and joined Nitish Kumar's JD(U). Known as "Maulana Jagannath" because of his clout with the Muslims, Mishra gets credit for making Urdu as the second official language of the state in 1980. Sheila Dikshit Dies at 81: Journey of The Woman Who Became Congress Warhorse in Delhi.
Mishra's reputation got tainted when a special Central Bureau of Investigation court in Ranchi convicted him, along with 44 others, in the Fodder Scam in 2013. He was sentenced to four years imprisonment and a fine of 200,000 rupees. He denied all charges and alleged that his name was deliberately included in the scam on the instruction of former Congress president Sitaram Kesri.