BHUBANESWAR: Senior BJD leader and Rajya Sabha member Kalpataru Das passed away on Saturday at New Delhi after a prolonged illness. He was 67. Das is survived by his wife and three sons, one of whom Pranab Balabantray is BJD MLA from Dharmasala.
Das, a former minister in Naveen Patnaik Cabinet, was ailing for some time and admitted to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) on Monday after his condition became critical. The end came at 3.45 pm in the presence of his sons and wife.
His body will be flown to Bhubaneswar on Sunday morning and taken to Dharmasala for cremation. During his political career, spanning over 40 years, Das had risen through the ranks to become a four time MLA, a Cabinet minister and Rajya Sabha member.
Das was elected to the State Assembly from Dharmasala constituency four times continuously from 1995. He entered Assembly on a Janata Dal ticket and was elected on a BJD ticket thereafter for three times. Das became influential in BJD after 2012 and was made a Cabinet minister by the Chief Minister with important portfolios, including Parliamentary Affairs and Panchayati Raj.
He joined BJD on December 18, 1997 and became the party’s vice president in 2012. Governor SC Jamir, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Union Ministers from Odisha Jual Oram and Dharmendra Pradhan, State BJP president KV Singhdeo, former union minister Srikant Jena, BJD MP Baijayant Panda, BJD spokesman Amar Prasad Satpathy, general secretary of Biju Yuva Janata Dal (BYJD) Bijay Nayak, ministers, MPs and MLAs cutting across partylines condoled his death.
Bhubaneswar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday condoled the death of BJD MP Kalpataru Das. “Pained to hear about the passing away of Rajya Sabha MP Kalpataru Das. My condolences to his family. May his soul rest in peace,” Modi tweeted. “ Das was actively involved in social work and extremely passionate about Odisha’s progress,” he added.