End Of An Era: Khallikote Queen & 10-Time Odisha MLA Sugnana Kumari Deo Passes Away
Chennai: Veteran BJD leader and 10-time MLA V Sugnana Kumari Deo breathed her last while undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Chennai at 12.44 am on Saturday. She was 87.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had rushed to Chennai last evening to personally inquire about her health condition. He met the veteran leader in the hospital and spoke to her family members Two senior ministers BK Arukh, Usha Devi, 5T Chairman VK Pandian & BJD Organisational secretary Pranab Das accompanied the CM to Chennai.
A member of the Khallikote Royal family, Deo was first elected to the state Legislative Assembly in 1961 from Khallikote Assembly constituency in Ganjam district. The veteran BJD leader represented Khallikote 8 times and Kabisuryanagar twice. She shifted to Kabisuryanagar, from where she contested her last election in 2014, after Khallikote was reserved for Scheduled Caste (SC) candidates following the 2009 delimitation.
She was a MLA of the 3rd, 6th, 7th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th and 15th Assembly, when she was appointed protem Speaker. She had shunned innumerable invitations to become a minister.
Originally from Chennai, she had married the erstwhile royal scion of Khallikote late Purna Chandra Mardaraj Deo and was the daughter-in-law of Raja Ramchandra Mardaraj Deo, who had a significant role in the formation of separate Odisha state on linguistic basis on April 1, 1936. The Speaker’s chair in the Odisha Legislative Assembly has been donated by the Khallikote royal family.