Odisha pays tribute to Biju Patnaik on his birth anniversary
(Sourced from PTI)
Odisha on Friday paid rich tribute to legendary leader Biju Patnaik as his five-time Chief Minister son Naveen Patnaik called upon people to keep alive the ideologies of "service and self-esteem" followed by the veteran politician all through his life. The Chief Minister said this while addressing a function marking the celebration of the freedom fighter's 105th birth anniversary.
Biju Patnaik was the Chief Minister of Odisha twice in the mid-60s and the first half of the 90s. The state government also observed the day as "Panchayati Raj Day" as Biju Patnaik was instrumental in decentralizing power to the grassroots level.
As part of Biju Patnaik's efforts toward women empowerment, he for the first time in the country reserved 33 percent seats for females in the three-tier panchayat elections during his tenure as the Chief Minister between 1990 to 1995. Naveen Patnaik, the younger son of the legendary leader, subsequently enhanced the women quota to 50 percent in the panchayats and urban local bodies polls.
Naveen Patnaik said, "The state has made progress basing its policies on Biju Patnaik's ideologies." Odisha Government's Department of Sports and Youth Services organized a mini-marathon at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneshwar marking Biju Patnaik's birth anniversary. Sports minister TK Behera flagged off the marathon race in presence of hockey legend Dilip Tirkey.
The ruling BJD's youth and students wing also took out a mass cycle rally from Biju Patnaik's birthplace in Cuttack to Bhubaneswar. The rally started from Anand Bhawan in Cuttack and culminated near Bhubaneswar Airport. Meanwhile, tributes poured in from across India on the occasion. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Odisha Governor Gabneshi Lal, and many union ministers tweeted tributes to Biju Patnaik.
"Humble tributes to the visionary leader, great statesman, freedom fighter, and architect of modern #Odisha, #BijuBabu on his birth anniversary. He always dreamt of an empowered and prosperous #Odisha and will continue to be a guiding force for all of us," Naveen Patnaik tweeted.
Humble tributes to the visionary leader, great statesman, freedom fighter and the architect of modern #Odisha, #BijuBabu on his birth anniversary. He always dreamt of an empowered and prosperous #Odisha and will continue to be a guiding force for all of us. #BijuBabuTheLegend pic.twitter.com/8WHxPwkC3Z— CMO Odisha (@CMO_Odisha) March 5, 2021