Bhanjanagar, Oct 7:
Senior Congress leader and former Speaker of the state assembly Somanath Rath died today at his Rath Sahi residence in Bhanjanagar.
He was 89.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh and Assam governor JB Patnaik, along with many leaders from different political parties, have condoled his death.
A three-time MLA (1971, 1974 and 1980) from Bhanjnagar constituency, he was also elected to the Lok Sabha from Aska seat in 1985.
In 1974, he was the minister of state for health, urban development and agriculture.
Rath had served as the Speaker in the State Assembly from 1980-84. He was also selected as one of the members in the Speakers’ panel in the Lok Sabha.
Rath resigned as Speaker and joined as agriculture minister in February, 1984.