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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 9:

Tributes were paid to eminent socialist leader, freedom fighter and former Lok Sabha Speaker from Odisha, Rabi Ray in Parliament today.

Members of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha– two Houses of the Parliament– observed a two-minute silence for the departed soul.

Ray passed away on March 13 following prolonged illness. Suffering from age-related illnesses, Ray was admitted to SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack after his health deteriorated on February 12.

Born on November 26, 1926, Ray joined national politics, inspired by the leadership of socialist leader Rammanohar Lohia.

Ray was elected to the fourth Lok Sabha from the Puri constituency in Odisha in 1967. Prime Minister Morarji Desai inducted Ray into his cabinet as Minister for Health and Family Welfare in January, 1979 and Ray continued in that post till January, 1980.

In 1989, he was re-elected to the 9th Lok Sabha from the Kendrapara constituency in Odisha as a Janata Dal candidate. On December 19, 1989, he was unanimously elected the Speaker of the 9th Lok Sabha. In 1991, he was re-elected to the 10th Lok Sabha from the same constituency.