Bhubaneswar: Political leaders cutting across party lines remembered legendary leader and former Odisha Chief Minister Biju Patnaik on his 102nd birth anniversary on Monday.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to twitter to pay his tributes to Biju Babu.
“Remembering the great Biju Babu on his Jayanti,” Modi wrote on his twitter handle.
“He was a visionary who tirelessly served the people of Odisha and the nation. His efforts empowered lakhs of people and freed them from the clutches of poverty,” added Modi.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also remembered his father and offered floral tribute at the statues of the freedom fighter at Biju Patnaik park and Odisha Legislative Assembly premises.
Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the Odisha Legislative Assembly Narasingha Mishra also remembered the fire brand leader on his birth anniversary today.
“Tributes to Biju Babu on his birth anniversary. A towering personality with a big heart,” tweeted Mishra.
Similarly, Union Ministers and senior BJP leaders from Odisha Dharmendra Pradhan and Jual Oram also paid their rich tributes to Biju Babu.
On the other hand, internationally acclaimed sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik also paid sandy tributes to Biju Patnaik.
Pattnaik made a sand sculpture of Biju Patnaik also shared the images on is twitter account with the message ‘Tribute to a true legend #BijuPatnaik on his #BirthAnniversary. One of my SandArt on #BijuBabu.’
Bijayanand Patnaik – popularly known as Biju Babu among his friends and followers – was born on 5 March 1916 to Lakshminarayan and Ashalata Patnaik. He belonged to an affluent family and later went on to lay the foundation of industrialisation in Odisha. Known for his passion for sports and adventure as a school student, Patnaik left Ravenshaw College to train as a pilot. In 1936, he joined the Royal Indian Air Force as a pilot. Post independence, he was elected twice to the Odisha Legislative Assembly, in 1952 and 1957.
Patnaik, as the president of the Pradesh Congress Committee, led the Congress to a massive victory in the Assembly elections of 1961. He became the Chief Minister of Odisha for the first time, but resigned following the Kamraj Plan in 1963.
In 1969, Patnaik left the Congress due to differences with the then party chief, Indira Gandhi, over the presidential election. He never mended ways after. He formed the Utkal Congress, a new party, which later merged with the Janta Party.
Patnaik emerged as the biggest rival to the Congress in Odisha, and played an important role in national politics as part of the Janata Party. He also served as the Union minister for steel in the Morarji Desai government.