Congress leader Sadanand Singh dies, top Bihar leaders pay tribute
Congress veteran Sadanand Singh (70) died in Patna on Wednesday after a brief hospitalisation for liver disorder. He is survived by his wife Meena Devi, son Subhanand Mukesh and three daughters.
A former speaker of Bihar legislative assembly, Singh was elected to the assembly on Congress ticket nine times from Kahalgaon constituency of Bhagalpur. He was Congress legislative party leader for a decade till his retirement from active politics in 2020.
Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, Union minister Ashwini Choubey, Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) chief Lalu Prasad, Bihar Pradesh Congress Committee (BPCC) chief Madan Mohan Jha, Opposition leader Tejashwi Prasad Yadav, state BJP chief Sanjay Jaiswal, and many senior leaders across party lines condoled Singh’s death.
Mortal remains of Singh, who twice served the BPCC as its chief, will be cremated at his native place near Ganga with state honour.
Paying homage to Singh at the state legislature premises, where his body was brought for last viewing, CM Nitish Kumar said the Congress leader was popular and highly respected by all parties owing to his nature.
RJD chief Lalu Prasad said Singh was a leader of the masses and blessed with great organisational acumen. “His contribution to Bihar’s development and social awakening cannot be forgotten,” Prasad said, referring to Singh as one of his best friends. Prasad’s wife and former CM Rabri Devi also condoled Singh’s death. He served as the assembly speaker during Rabri Devi’s stint as Bihar CM during 2000-2005.
Union minister of state for environment and climate change Ashwini Choubey, who had represented Bhagalpur in Lok Sabha, also paid tributes to Singh. Deputy CM Tarkishore Prasad also condoled Singh’s death. State BJP chief Sanjay Jaiswal said Singh’s death will leave a void in Bihar politics for long.
Opposition leader Tejashwi Prasad Yadav described Singh as a great leader.
BPCC chief Madan Mohan Jha said Singh was a true Congress worker and guided the party to success during the difficult phases. All India Congress Committee (AICC) media panellist and member of legislative council (MLC) Prem Chandra Mishra said Singh always promoted young talent in the party.
A commerce graduate from Bhagalpur University, Singh joined politics as a Congress worker in 1967 and won from Kahalgaon assembly seat for the first time in 1969. His popularity in his constituency can be measured by the fact that he didn’t lose the seat even during the Janata Party wave post emergency in 1977, when his party, the Congress faced a massive rout.
Except in 1990, when he was defeated by an RJD leader, Singh never lost from Kahalgaon, even as an Independent in 1980 after being denied ticket by the party. He rejoined Congress after wresting the seat.
Former BPCC president Chandan Bagchi said that Singh was respected across all communities despite being an OBC mascot in the Congress. “He served as a minister during the tenure of Jagannath Mishra as the CM,” said Bagchi.
Mukesh, who unsuccessfully contested Kahalgaon assembly seat in 2020, said Singh fell sick in early July and was admitted in a Delhi hospital for treatment. “Last month, he was brought to Patna after his condition improved. Later, he was admitted in a private hospital at Danapur, where he breathed his last,” said Mukesh.