Bhubaneswar: King of Paralakhemundi Gopinath Gajapati passed away at a private hospital in Bhubaneswar in the early hours of Friday. He was 77.
The king, who was suffering from a prolonged illness, breathed his last at 4.01 am, hospital sources said.
Briefing the media here, Kalyani Devi, daughter of the king, said that her father was in coma for the two and a half years. He had lost his speech since 2015.
The mortal remains of the Gajapati were later taken to Paralakhemundi for the last rites scheduled for the evening, family sources said.
Expressing profound grief, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said the death of the Parala king is an irreparable loss for Odisha.
ପୂର୍ବତନ ଲୋକସଭା ସାଂସଦ ତଥା ପାରଳା ମହାରାଜା ଗୋପୀନାଥ ଗଜପତି ନାରାୟଣ ଦେବଙ୍କ ଦେହାନ୍ତ ବିଷୟରେ ଜାଣି ମୁଁ ଦୁଃଖିତ। ତାଙ୍କ ବିୟୋଗ ସମଗ୍ର ଓଡ଼ିଶା ପାଇଁ ଏକ ଅପୂରଣୀୟ କ୍ଷତି। ଏପରି ଦୁଃଖଦ ସମୟରେ ଶୋକସନ୍ତପ୍ତ ପରିବାର ବର୍ଗଙ୍କୁ ମୋର ସମବେଦନା ଜଣାଇବା ସହ ତାଙ୍କ ଅମର ଆତ୍ମାର ସଦଗତି କାମନା କରୁଛି।
— Naveen Patnaik (@Naveen_Odisha) January 10, 2020
He will be given a state funeral at Paralakhemundi. Forest and Environment Minuster Bikram Keshari Arukh will lay wreath on his mortal remains of late Gopinath Gajapati and attend the funeral on behalf of the Chief Minister, a statement from the CMO said.
Puri Gajapati Maharaja Dibyasingha Deb, who arrived at the hospital for the last glimpse of the departed soul, said Gopinjath Gajapati was his uncle and the royal family of Paralakhemundi is a part of the royal family of Puri. He also said that the contribution of the royal family of Paralakhemundi in the formation of Odisha Pradesh was immense.
Born on March 6, 1943, Gopinath Gajapati was elected twice as a member to the 9th and 10th Lok Sabha from Berhampur constituency as a Congress candidate. Later, he left the Congress and joined the BJP in 1998. In 2009 he quit the saffron party and joined the Biju Janata Dal.
He had married Rani Purna Devi, the princess of Dharampur on March 14, 1964.