Former Odisha Assembly Speaker Surjya Narayan Patro Passes Away
Bhubaneswar: Veteran Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader and former Speaker of Odisha Assembly, Surjya Narayan Patro passed away on Saturday following a prolonged illness. He was 74.
Patro, also a former Minister, had been ailing for the last several months and breathed his last at a private hospital in Bhubaneswar this evening, family sources said. He was admitted to the hospital after his health condition deteriorated.
A seven-time MLA, he represented Digapahandi in the present Assembly. Patro had won the Mohana Assembly seat for the first time in 1990. He also served the state as a Minister holding different portfolios. As a minister in the Biju Patnaik and Naveen Patnaik governments, he held various important portfolios, including Forest and Environment, Energy, Tourism, IT, Culture, Revenue, Information and Public Relations, Food Supply and Consumer Welfare.
Patro, who became Assembly Speaker in 2019, had stepped down from the post in June, last year due to health reasons.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has expressed grief over the demise of Patro and described him as an able administrator and efficient organiser. “He (Patro) will always be remembered for dedicating his life to the service of the people of Ganjam. His valuable contribution in organising the BJD is an inspiration to all of us. This is an irreparable loss for Odisha politics and the party,” the Chief Minister said in a message.
A host of other dignitaries including Governor Ganeshi Lal, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and BJP’s national vice president also mourned the demise of Patro and said his contributions to Odisha politics will always be remembered.
Leaders from different political parties and distinguished persons from different spheres also visited the hospital to pay their last respects to late leader.