With Deepali Das, daughter of Naba das, the baton has been passed in Odisha

Deepali Das is a chip off the old block. The 26-year-old always had the chutzpa her late father Naba Kishore Das displayed.

Published: 01st April 2023 08:23 AM  |   Last Updated: 01st April 2023 08:23 AM   |  A+A-

Deepali Das

Express News Service

SAMBALPUR:  Deepali Das is a chip off the old block. The 26-year-old always had the chutzpa her late father Naba Kishore Das displayed. When Biju Janata Dal supremo and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announced her as party’s candidate for Jharsuguda bypoll on Friday, it only seemed natural progression for the management graduate.

On January 29, when Das senior fell to the bullets of an ASI at Brajarajnagar, Deepali was in Europe. The family was shattered. A grief-stricken Deepali returned and quietly shouldered the responsibility. She spoke about her father’s loss, love and affection the electorate heaped on the three-time legislator as well as how BJD boss stood with them like a father figure during the hour of personal tragedy.

With her nomination, the baton has been passed on. Naba Das who was elected as Jharsuguda MLA on a Congress ticket twice in 2009 and 2014 had switched to BJD in 2018 and continued his winning streak in 2019. Deepali first came to limelight when she joined her father in government and private meetings after the 2019 elections. She started working at the grassroots level in Jharsuguda under ‘Narsingh Bishnupriya Charitable Trust’ and quickly endeared herself with her work during the Covid crisis. Eventually, Deepali was seen as the representative of minister in her constituency. 

Born in 1997, Deepali Das studied at DAV Public School, Burla before moving to Rajasthan where she completed Plus Two from Mody School in Lakshmangarh. She then went on to get her BCom from KC College, Mumbai, and then pursued MBA in Public Relations and Communication from EU Business School at Barcelona, Spain.

Months before Naba Das’ death, Deepali was seen actively campaigning during Padampur by-elections in November last for BJD candidate Barsha Singh Bariha. Barsha too had lost her father Bijay Ranjan Singh Bairha and was picked by BJD to take up the mantle. 

After the death of the minister, people of Jharsuguda expected Deepali would be chosen to step into her father’s shoes. She was seen at various social functions during the last month. “It is a very big day for my entire family and my father would have been happy if he were here. I am indebted to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for having shown faith in me. I feel proud to be selected by the BJD,” she told mediapersons after the formal announcement by the ruling party.

Deepali said her only objective will be to work for development of Jharsuguda. Being a woman, she said, working towards empowerment of woman in the constituency and bringing them to the mainstream will be her priority. Her father’s memory was right up there. “My constant focus will be to keep my father alive in the minds of the people of Jharsuguda by following in his path.”

India Matters


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