Odisha mourns the loss of Veteran Leader Surendranath Naik

Naik was a close aide of former chief minister Biju Patnaik and elected to the Assembly from Kakatpur constituency seven times.
CM Mohan Charan Majhi paid his obeisance to the mortal remains of former minister Surendranath Naik outside the State Assembly in Bhubaneswar on Friday.
CM Mohan Charan Majhi paid his obeisance to the mortal remains of former minister Surendranath Naik outside the State Assembly in Bhubaneswar on Friday. File Photo

BHUBANESWAR: Veteran BJD leader and former minister Surendranath Naik passed away at his residence in the capital city in the early hours on Friday. He was 87. He was suffering from age-related ailments.

Naik was a close aide of former chief minister Biju Patnaik and elected to the Assembly from Kakatpur constituency seven times.

A native of Puri, he started his career as chairman of the Astaranga panchayat samiti from 1960 to 1967. He was elected to the Assembly for the first time in 1971 from Utkal Congress. He was the deputy speaker of the Assembly from 1977 to 1980.

Naik was a cabinet minister in the BJD-BJP alliance government led by then chief minister Naveen Patnaik from 2000 to 2009. He handled several portfolios including Excise, Revenue, School and Mass Education and Panchayati Raj. Naik was also deputy chairman of the Odisha Planning Board from 2012 to 2014.

Naik was accorded a guard of honour on Odisha Assembly premises, where Speaker Surama Padhy, Chief Minister Mohan Charan Majhi, deputy chief ministers KV Singhdeo and Pravati Parida, several ministers and MLAs paid tributes to the departed soul. His body was also taken to Sankha Bhawan, the BJD headquarters, where Leader of Opposition Naveen Patnaik, party leaders and MLAs paid their last respects.

Expressing grief over his demise, Majhi described Naik as a popular leader and an efficient administrator. He termed his demise as a great loss for the state. Former chief minister and BJD president Naveen said Naik’s dedication to serving Kakatpur people will always be remembered. As an able politician and public representative his philanthropic work will be a source of inspiration for all, he added.

State BJP president Manmohan Samal, BJP national vice-president Baijayant Panda, several ministers and leaders cutting across party lines condoled his death.

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