New Delhi: Former Bihar Chief Minister Bhagwat Jha Azad died here on Tuesday after a prolonged illness. He was 89.

A six-time member of the Lok Sabha from Bhagalpur in Bihar, Azad had been ailing for some time and was admitted at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), family sources said.
   
He breathed his last this morning, they said. A veteran Congressman, Azad was the chief minister of Bihar for little over a year between 1988-89.
   
He had joined the BJP recently but was hardly active due to ill health.
   
Azad's son, former cricketer Kirti Azad, is a BJP MP from Darbhanga.

Nitish condoles Bhagwat Jha Azad's death

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar has expressed shock and grief at the passing away of Bhagwat Jha Azad.

"In his death Bihar has lost a great leader," Kumar said declaring a two-day state mourning from Tuesday.
     
Kumar spoke to the sons of the late leader and conveyed his grief. One of them is Kirti Jha Azad, BJP MP.

Azad's ashes would be immersed in the Ganga at Kahalgaon in Bhagalpur district on October 12 with full state honours, he said.

S Siddhartha, secretary to the chief minister went to Azad's residence here and placed a wreath on his body on behalf of Kumar, official sources the agency.
    
Several Congress leaders, including former chief minister Jagannath Mishra, state party chief Choudhary Mehboob Ali Kaiser, Youth Congress president Lallan Kumar, former speaker Sadanand Singh, also condoled his death.

(Agencies)