Odisha CM Visits Surjya Narayan Patro’s Residence, Pays Tributes; Last Rites At Digapahandi Today
Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik paid tributes to veteran BJD leader and former assembly speaker Surjya Narayan Patro, who passed away at a private hospital in Bhubaneswar on Saturday evening at the age of 75, at his Nayapalli residence on Sunday morning.
Naveen expressed his condolences to the bereaved family members.
Several people, BJD party workers, political leaders across party lines, and eminent persons from different fields made a beeline for his last ‘darshan’ at his residence.
The mortal remains of one of the longest-serving ministers in Odisha will be taken to Odisha Assembly and Sankha Bhawan. It will then be carried in a procession to his constituency Digapahandi, where his last rites will be performed at 3 pm, his son Biplab informed.
As per his last wish, Patro’s family members donated his eyes. A team of doctors removed his eyes 10 minutes after his death on Saturday. Patro had also donated the eyes of his mothers after her death.
President Droupadi Murmu, Governor Prof Ganeshi Lal, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Chhattisgarh Governor Bishwabhushan Harichandan, and BJP National Vice-President Baijayant Panda had earlier mourned his sad demise.
Born in Berhampur in Ganjam district, Patro entered politics on the direction of former chief minister Biju Patnaik and unsuccessfully contested for the Berhampur Lok Sabha seat two times from the erstwhile Janata Party. He was elected to the Assembly for the first time in 1990 from the Mohana constituency. In his first term as an MLA, Patro was appointed as a minister of state in the Biju Patnaik Cabinet for seven months from July 1990 to January 1991.
He went on to win the next six successive elections as a legislator — 3 times from Mohana and as many from Digapahandi seat after the 2009 delimitation, in Gajapati and Ganjam districts, respectively. He handled departments such as energy, tourism, revenue and disaster management, food supplies, co-operation and information and public relations in Naveen Patnaik’s cabinet from 2002 to 2014 and from 2017 to 2019.
He was known as ‘Ganjam tiger’ after the death of former minister Ram Krushna Patnaik, who was elected six times from Kodala assembly seat.
He won his last election from Digapahandi Assembly constituency in 2019 and served as speaker of the state assembly till June 2022 when he resigned from the post following his illness. During his tenure as the Speaker, he proved his mettle by undertaking several reforms, including introduction of paperless Assembly.
Patro is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter.