Cuttack: President Ram Nath Kovind today dedicated Anand Bhawan Museum and Learning Centre, the ancestral house of late former Chief Minister Biju Patnaik, to the people of Odisha.
Kovind, who reached Odisha today on his maiden visit to the state, inaugurated the museum in the presence of Biju Patnaik’s son and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and other dignitaries at a special function here.
“Biju Patnaik’s legacy is above party politics and not only Odisha but all of India is proud of him,” he tweeted.
#PresidentKovind dedicates ‘Anand Bhawan Museum and Learning Centre’, the ancestral house of the late Biju Patnaik, to people of the state; says Biju Patnaik’s legacy is above party politics and not only Odisha but all of India is proud of him pic.twitter.com/sI6aQicaGZ
— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) March 17, 2018
Addressing a gathering at Jawaharlal Nehru Indoor Stadium here, he said Biju Patnaik was one among the prominent leaders in the country who always advocated for women empowerment and did everything for the honour and people of Kalinga (the erstwhile name and identity of Odisha).
“There were two Anand Bhawans in the country during freedom struggle– one at Cuttack & another at Allahabad where strategies for gaining independence were discussed,” he said.
“When Biju Babu was Minister of Steel, he was called the Steel Man in Delhi,” Kovind said.
The President said that it was an honour to pay homage to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and Biju Patnaik in the historic Cuttack city as both had played a crucial role in the freedom struggle.
Before inaugurating the museum, the President paid floral tributes to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose at his birthplace here.
Earlier in the day, the first citizen of the country and his wife Savita Kovind arrived at the Biju Patnaik International Airport in Bhubaneswar around 10.30 am.
Worth mentioning, Biju Patnaik was born on March 5, 1916 at Anand Bhawan built by his father Laxmi Narayan Patnaik. He spent most of his childhood there.
In January 2015, Biju Patnaik’s sons Naveen Patnaik and Prem Patnaik donated the property to the state government following which it was developed into a museum and learning centre at a cost of Rs 1.8 crore.
The museum features various personal belongings of Biju Patnaik, including his childhood photographs and other materials narrating his role in the freedom struggle of India and Indonesia.