BHUBANESHWAR: Senior BJD leader, former Rajya Sabha member and convener of Odia Bhasa Surakshya Sammiliani, Baishnab Charan Parida passed away at a private hospital here today. He was 77.
Parida, a politician, writer and social activist was suffering from cancer for the last one year and admitted to a private ten days ago. He died at around 10.45 am today.
A staunch follower of Karl Marx and his philosophy, Parida was born at Srirampur in Jajpur district on February 15, 1941. Elected to Rajya Sabha in July 2010, he played a major role in the implementation of Odisha Official Language Act, 1954 in the state.
A member of the Communist Party of India (CPI) from 1960 to 1992, he was involved in trade union and the labour movement in West Bengal. He was elected to the executive committee of West Bengal Students Federation in 1964. Parida had set up the West Bengal Oriya Students Association in 1963 and later the West Bengal Oriya Citizen Council at Kolkata in 1965. The same year, he started the Soviet Land (Oriya Editor) as a member of its editorial board and continued as a member till 1975.
In 1974, Parida went to Moscow for a special assignment for Indo-Soviet coordination. He held several positions during his stay there until 1989. He was the correspondent of RIA Novosti from 1984 to 1989.
After returning to Odisha in 1989, Parida quit the CPI due to differences with the party leaders on the Marxist ideology in Indian reality. In 1993, he joined Indian National Congress and remained in the party till 1998. Later, he left the Congress and joined the Samajwadi Party in 1999 as its state president.
However, he resigned in 2008 and joined the BJD.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik mourned the death Parida and conveyed his deep sympathy to the bereaved family. Condolences poured in as the news of his death spread.
Union minister for petroleum and natural gas Dharmendra Pradhan, president of the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) Niranjan Patnaik, BJP state unit president Basant Panda, BJP Legislature Party leader KV Singhdeo, president of state unit of Samajwadi Party Rabi Behera and state secretary of CPM Ali Kishore Patnaik were among others who grieved his death.