Noted academician Shaibal Gupta, who had for years been the go to man for whoever wished to write on society, economy or politics of Bihar, died here on Thursday after prolonged illness.
He was 67. He is survived by wife and two children.
The most prominent face of ADRI (Asian Development Research Institute), a Patna-based think thank, Gupta had been suffering from multiple ailments for some time and was admitted earlier this month to a private hospital here following a fresh bout of illness.
Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, to whom Gupta had been an intellectual ally, called the death a ‘personal loss’ and paid tributes to the role played by him in ushering in economic reforms in the state.
Kumar also declared that Guptas last rites will be performed with full state honours.
Sushil Kumar Modi, the former Deputy Chief Minister who held finance portfolio in the state for close to a decade and a half, recalled ‘it was the feedback from Gupta and his team which formed the basis of the annual economic survey of the state published every year prior to the tabling of the budget’.
The BJP leader, who has now moved to the Rajya Sabha, also remembered Gupta for ‘lending weight to the demand for special category status for Bihar’.
Condolences poured him for Gupta from across the political spectrum. Besides Modi, BJP leaders like Union minister Nityanand Rai and state president Sanjay Jaiswal expressed grief over his death.
CPI state secretary Ram Naresh Pandey also mourned the death of Gupta and fondly recalled his close association with the party.
CPI(M) state secretary Awadhesh Kumar also came out with a condolence message on the occasion. PTI