BHUBANESWAR: The first death anniversary of three-time Odisha Chief Minister and former Assam Governor JB Patnaik was observed across the State on Thursday.
Leaders cutting across party lines paid rich tributes to Patnaik at functions organised at different places of the State. A 10 feet statue of the departed leader, also a litterateur and journalist, was unveiled by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at a programme organised by Janaki Ballabh Memorial Committee at Khurda. Besides, a garden was also inaugurated in the evening to mark the occasion.
Describing him as an erudite scholar and eminent literary figure, the Chief Minister said Patnaik served the society with distinction in different capacities. Stating that the Shri Jagannath Sanskrit University at Puri is his contribution to Odisha, Naveen said he had written several books. “His contribution to the growth of Odia language and literature is immense,” he said.
The Chief Minister said Patnaik was well-known as a successful politician and able organiser. “He could reach the top in politics because of his efficiency,” Naveen said.
Describing Patnaik as a symbol of Odia pride, Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan said his life will remain an inspiration for many. Senior Congress leader and former minister Niranjan Patnaik said, “We are all influenced by Janaki Babu’s vision of development of all sections in Odisha.”
Among others, Bhubaneswar MP Prasanna Patsani, Khurda MLA Rajendra Prasad Sahoo, Ama Odisha chairman Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, former MLA JN Mitra, Dr Dillip Srichandan and former Vice-Chancellor of North Odisha University Khirod Prasad Mohanty were present.
Addressing a function organised by Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) in the Capital City, noted economist Dr Baidyanath Mishra said Patnaik always thought about Odisha’s progress and interacted with specialists from different fields in this matter.
Social worker Tulasi Munda said all should try to complete the unfinished work of Patnaik. Eminent linguist Dr Debi Prasanna Patnaik, Bhoodan worker Krushna Singh, senior Congress leaders including KC Lenka, Jaydev Jena, LB Mohapatra and Niranjan Patnaik also spoke. A 600-page book on JB Patnaik edited by OPCC president Prasad Harichandan was released at the function which was inaugurated by former MP Jayanti Patnaik.
A function was also organised by State level JB Patnaik Memorial Committee headed by Leader of the Opposition Narasingh Mishra. Among others, AICC general secretary Janardan Dwivedi, School and Mass Education Minister Debi Prasad Mishra, former speaker Sarat Kar, State CPI general secretary Dibakar Nayak and secretary of the committee Arjya Prasad Gyanendra attended.