Bihar’s first OBC chief minister recalls how B.P. Mandal succeeded him

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In 1967, the Congress was in unfamiliar territory. It faced a tough challenge in the Lok Sabha and Assembly elections. It was still in power at the Centre but had lost states to other parties. Bihar got a non-Congress government for the first time. An alliance of Jan Kranti Dal (JKD) and Samyukta Socialist Party (SSP) formed the government with Mahamaya Prasad Sinha at the helm. It was known as the United Front government. Sinha had defeated K.B. Sahay in Patna assembly constituency.

Satish Prasad Singh and B.P. Mandal

Sinha assumed charge on 5 March 1967. His party had 24 MLAs while SSP had 68. The politics of the Backwards was becoming vocal following the decline of the Congress. It also had an impact on the United Front government. The government had three SSP ministers but they should not have been ministers according to their party’s constitution. One of them was B.P. Mandal, who became a minister even though he was a Member of Parliament. Ramanand Tiwari had become minister while still being the president of the Bihar chapter of SSP. Bhola Singh was a minister despite being an MLC.

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