Dr Sampurnanand (1 January 1891 – 10 January 1969) was a teacher and politician in Uttar Pradesh, India. He was served as the second Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh from 1954 to 1960. If single tenures in the office of the Uttar Pradesh Chief Ministers are only considered, then Dr. Sampurnanand had the longest stretch from 28 December 1954 to 7 December 1960, which is almost six years in the office. Dr. Sampurnanand, a scholar of Sanskrit and Hindi, succeeded Govind Ballabh Pant. His council of ministers numbered 28 and the educationist ruled Uttar Pradesh until 7 December 1960.
Following a political crisis in Uttar Pradesh initiated by Kamlapati Tripathi and Chandra Bhanu Gupta, Dr Sampurnanand was asked to resign as Chief Minister and sent to Rajasthan as the Governor of Rajasthan. Between 1962 and 1967, he held the seat.
Sampurnanand was born on 1 January 1891 at Benaras. He participated in the Non-cooperation Movement; edited Maryada, a Hindi monthly staffed by Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya in Benaras, contributed frequently to the National Herald and the Congress Socialist; was elected to the All-India Congress Committee in 1922, became provincial Minister for Education in the Uttar Pradesh cabinet, federal Minister from 1946 to 1951 and from 1951 to 1954, holding portfolios such as education, finance, and home labour; and, became Governor of Rajasthan from April 1962 to May 1967.
The appointment of late Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Dr. Sampurnanand as governor of Rajasthan heralded a new beginning in the Indian politics when spent forces in the politics were sent to hold gubernatorial functions.
He belonged to Benaras (present day Varanasi) and started life as a teacher. Brought up under the influence of the Benaras ethos, he was a strong votary of traditional culture. He was deeply interested in ancient Hindu culture including Sanskrit and Phalit Jyotish (astrology). His interest in phalit coupled with his academic bent of mind got him interested in astronomy.
Babu Sampurnanandji was also an ardent freedom fighter. His jail-mates narrate that while under confinement in jail (as a freedom fighter) Babuji used to entertain them with discussions on astronomy and acquainted them with the night sky. Babuji had a modern outlook too and in this respect he was a curious mixture of diverse influences.
After Independence, Babu Sampurnanandji became Education Minister in the first popular government of Uttar Pradesh.This instrumented in fulfilling his cherished astronomical dreams and drew up plans for establishing an astronomical observatory with a Time unit at the Government Sanskrit College, Benaras (GSC) (now Sampurnanand Sanskrit University).
Dr Sampurnanand was first Chairman of State Lalit Kala Akademi, U.P. which was established on 8 February 1962 under the Department of Culture, Govt. of Uttar Pradesh as a fully funded autonomous body. Sampurnanand as a CM pushed Hindi(also Cow slaughter ban).
As a reformist governor of Rajasthan promoted the idea of Sanganer’s no-bars prison.In this open prison convicts live with their families, go out to work and pay taxes for water and electricity. Sampurnanand believed that crime should not be looked as an act of revenge but as an act of reformation. Life imprisonment is like a death sentence for a convict as it results in a separation from family and friends.The Rajasthan government started the Sri Sampurnanand Khula Bandi Shivir (open jail), named after the governor, on an experimental basis in 1963.