Cuttack: President Ramnath Kovind, in his first visit to the State after assuming office, dedicated Anand Bhawan Museum and Learning Centre, the ancestral house of former Chief Minister Biju Patnaik at Tulsipur in Cuttack to the nation.
Governor Dr SC Jamir, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan were among many other dignitaries attended the inauguration ceremony of Anand Bhawan.
Later, Kovind addressed a public meeting at the Indoor Stadium here on the occasion.
He started his address with the line in Odia language – ‘Mu Odisha ra pabitra mati aau ehara janata ku pranam janauchi’, meaning I salute the pious land of Odisha and its people.
“While I was engaged in the sight- seeing of Anand Bhawan today after its inauguration, two things came to my mind. There were two such Bhawans in India during the freedom struggle then, one in Allahabad and the other in Odisha,” said Kovind.
“Freedom fighters used to gather in these two Anand Bhawans and chalk out strategies for gaining independence here. It was not an ordinary bhawan, it was camp from where the light of freedom emerged,” added Kovind.
While remembering Biju Patnaik, Kovind said that he was one among the prominent leaders in the country who always advocated for women empowerment and development of the country.
“It’s an honour to pay tributes to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and Biju Patnaik in Cuttack as both had played crucial role in freedom struggle,” the President said in his address.
“Biju Patnaik’s legacy is above party politics and not only Odisha but all of India is proud of him,” he further added.
Kovind, who is on a two-day visit to Odisha on the request of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, arrived at Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) in Bhubaneswar at around 10.25 am today.
The President was welcomed by Governor Dr SC Jamir, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) Mayor Anata Narayan Jena, Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi, Director General of Police (DGP) Dr Rajendra Prasad Sharma. Later, he was escorted to the saluting dais, where the brass band of the Odisha Police gave him the guard of honour.
Following which he was taken to Cuttack by road, where the President commenced his engagements by paying tributes to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose at his birthplace.
Kovind then reached at Anand Bhawan Museum and Learning Centre and dedicated it to the people of Odisha as well the nation.
He also visited inside the Anand Bhawan where he stayed for nearly half-an-hour.
On the same day, Kovind will also deliver the third foundation day lecture at the National Law University in Cuttack. Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, Governor Jamir, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan will attend the function.
The President will then leave for Puri for a night stay.
On Sunday, the President will address the centenary celebrations of the Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan in Puri. Later, the President would head for Bhubaneswar where he will grace the convocation of IIT Bhubaneswar as well as inaugurate the ICT-IOC (Institute of Chemical Technology –Indian Oil Corporation) Bhubaneswar campus.
He will also lay the foundation stone for the Skill Development Institute of Oil PSUs, before returning to Delhi on Sunday.