Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Nov 15:
Dozens of men — from Brahmagiri Assembly constituency and outside — today shaved off their heads to mark the tenth day rituals of departed Odisha Congress leader Lalatendu Bidyadhar Mohapatra – fondly called Lulu. Memorial services were held at several places across the state attended by thousands of his admirers.
“Way beyond being your average politician, his heart bled for the common man and for the state. That is why he is so popular while alive and even after his death,” said Ajay Mohapatra who came down to Bhubaneswar to get his head tonsured in a formal Shraddha ceremony held at Bindu Sagar.
“He was not only my political mentor, but was also a father figure who stood by me through thick and thin. That is why I shaved off my head – as done for parents on their tenth day rites in our religion,” said Ajay Panda, a former Spokesperson of Odisha NSUI who was recently suspended for heckling BK Hariprasad over nonattendance of AICC representatives at Lulu’s funeral.
Political leaders across the spectrum including Biju Janata Dal Vice President Damodar Rout, Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra, senior BJP leader Bijoy Mohapatra, Aama Odisha Party Chief Soumya Ranjan Patnaik attended a large rally and a memorial service held in Khurda.
Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan attended the tenth day rituals at his village Gada Rodanga and recounted Mahapatra’s contributions to the state and youth politics.
Meanwhile, addressing a memorial service at Cuttack, AICC Odisha in-charge BK Hariprasad — who recently faced the wrath of Lulu supporters in Bhubaneswar over nonattendance of AICC representatives at his funeral— today said that the departed leader had been offered PCC Presidentship which he declined citing health grounds.