BHUBANESWAR: Leaders cutting across partylines paid homage to veteran Congress leader and former chief minister Janaki Ballabh Patnaik on Sunday.
Expressing profound grief over the demise of the former chief minister, Industry Minister Debi Prasad Mishra said Patnaik was a visionary whose political acumen helped a generation of leaders.
‘’Janaki Babu’s erudition in the fields of art, culture, tradition and literature stands unmatched and he was actively associated with Odia language, culture and literature till he breathed his last. He always emphasised on the importance of Odia entrepreneurship which resulted in the growth of many first generation entrepreneurs in the State,” Mishra said.
Speaking on the occasion, senior BJP leader and former revenue minister Biswa Bhushan Harichandan said the former Congress veteran was a politician of a different breed.
“He was a true democrat who strongly believed in the role of constructive opposition for a healthy democracy. Patnaik was a patient listener who was always open to criticism,” Harichandan said.
Patnaik played a key role in strengthening cultural ties between Odisha and Assam during his tenure as Governor of Assam, he added.
Leader of Opposition Narasingh Mishra said Patnaik had immensely contributed to development of the nation and State in different capacities as Union Minister, Chief Minister, leader of opposition and Governor.
He was a visionary, a celebrated writer and a statesman to the true sense of the term. After Independence, for the first time during his tenure as chief minister, Odisha enjoyed a stable Government which completed its full term, he said.
“While his conviction and policy to set up 1000 industries in 1000 days changed the face of industries in Odisha, it was during Patnaik’s tenure that rice at `2 per kg was introduced for the first time for marginalised sections of the society, the Leader of Opposition said.
“Janaki Babu gave agriculture and hotels the status of industry which promoted development at grassroots and boosted tourism. This clearly indicates that his development model was inclusive,” he added.
State secretary of CPI(M) Ali Kishore Patnaik hailed Janaki Babu as a multi-faceted personality who made rich contribution to literature, culture and politics in his career which spanned over four decades.
Among others, Excise and Cooperation Minister Damodar Rout, Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Prasad Harichandan, Patnagarh MLA and former minister KV Singhdeo, former OPCC president Niranajan Patnaik, former chief minister Giridhar Gamang, CPI(M) leaders Sivaji Patnaik and Janardhan Pati, Trinamool Congress convenor Arya Kumar Gyanendra, eminent freedom fighter Bhabani Charan Patnaik and former finance minister Prafulla Ghadei were present at the meet.