BHUBANESWAR: Hundreds of supporters and well-wishers, including members of the ruling BJD, thronged the Biju Patnaik Airport to pay their homage to the mortal remains of former chief minister J B Patnaik here on Tuesday.
‘Janaki Patnaik Amar Rahe’ rented the air as the body of the Congress veteran arrived from Tirupati, where he passed away in the wee hours of Tuesday, in a special aircraft at about 2.30 pm.
Prominent among those who gathered at the airport to receive the body of the Congress stalwart included former chief minister Hemananda Biswal, former speaker of Odisha Assembly Kishore Chandra Patel, Pradesh Congress president Prasad Harichandan, former PCC presidents Niranjan Patnaik and Jayadev Jena, Congress chief whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati, former ministers Bijaylaxmi Sahoo and Suresh Routray, son-in-law of JB and former MP Soumya Ranjan Patnaik and former MLA Lalatendu Bidyadhar Mohapatra.
Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Bijayshree Routray and Athagarh MLA Ranendra Pratap Swain were the two leading members of the ruling BJD who visited the airport and paid their last respects to the departed Congress leader.
The Congress leader and former governor of Assam was given a guard of honour by the State Police after his body, bedecked in flowers, draped in tri-colour and placed in a glass-topped casket, emerged from the airport. The body of JB was taken in a truck to his residence from the airport. Pruthwiraj Patnaik, only son of JB, and some of his relatives and senior party leaders, including the PCC chief, were beside the body of the Congress veteran.