He was born in Madhepur, Bihar in a middle-class family to mother late Kishori Devi and father late Deva Nandan Sahay and raised in Patna. He completed his M.A. in English literature and started his career as a lecturer in the H.D. College of Arrah before joining Indian Police Service in 1960. He is married to Manju Sahay and the couple has one son and two daughters.
After retirement he joined the Samata Party. He was the first governor of Chhattisgarh state from 2000 to 2003. He became Governor of Tripura in June 2003.
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