Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Apr 27:
Three-time Odisha Chief Minister and former Assam Governor Janaki Ballav Patnaik, whose political career spanned over six decades, was the architect of modern Odisha, leaders’ cutting across party lines opined on Sunday while paying tributes to the departed leader.
With the demise of the veteran Congressman, an era of inspiration came to an end but his life, personality and success will continue to be an inspiration for the coming generations, they said.
Political leaders from across various parties assembled at the Jaydev Bhawan here on Sunday evening to pay rich tributes to the journalist, litterateur and politician at a programme ‘Smrutire Smrutire Janaki Ballav’, who breathed his last at Tirupati at the age of 89 following a cardiac arrest in the wee hours last Tuesday.
“JB Patnaik will always be remembered for his remarkable journalistic and literary skills apart from his love for culture. He has done immense work in promoting and preserving Jagannath culture and Odia culture till his last breath. He has left a distinct mark in Odisha’s development,” industries minister Devi Prasanna Mishra said.
Recalling his association with opposition leader JB, Mishra said, “We had difference of opinion on several occasions but he never allowed it turn into bitterness. A tall leader like JB’s absence will always be felt.”
“I considered Harekrushna Mahatab and JB Patnaik as my political gurus and I feel orphaned after losing them. The capital city is looking deserted as JB had put in lot of efforts for the makeover of this city,” Congress leader Suresh Routray said.
“His demise has created a void in many spheres apart from political circles. When he was the chief minister, we were in Opposition. We had immense respect for him as a leader,” BJP leader Biswabhusan Harichandan said.
“Even his opponents would admit his political acumen and expertise. He was a complete politican. His contribution to politics, literature and social life will always be remembered,” CPM leader Ali Kishore Patnaik said.
“His humble attitude and ability to accept failures is hard to find in this generation. He understood the importance of promoting small-scale industry vis-a-vis agriculture. His absence will be deeply felt,” senior CPI leader Narayan Reddy said.
“Odisha has lost an able son. He was a democratic leader in true sense. He was always present in the Assembly while he was the chief minister and always accepted the criticisms of Opposition. He was the first CM to have given a stable government to this state,” Leader of Opposition in Odisha Assembly, Narasingh Mishra said.
“It would be unfair to remember him as only a politician. He had an innate ability which was evident since his childhood. Despite being highly educated, he opted for journalism. As editor of Prajatantra, he always tried to maintain high standards of journalism. He faced upheavals in politics, but never allowed adversity to consume him. His contribution to literature, language and culture will be remembered for a long time. His “1000 days, 1000 industries” slogan was criticised then. However, it laid the foundation for industrialisation in the state and we have to accept it without hesitation. He tried his best to use Odia as official language,” cooperation minister Dr Damodar Rout said.
“He was among the few chief ministers who hardly remained absent in the Assembly. He was always ready to accept the views of Opposition and do their work. He advised not to get vindictive with the Opposition criticism and accept them with all humility. I have incorporated his advice in my political career,” state BJP president KV Singhdeo said.
“He was a visionary and worked for the overall development of the state,” former finance minister Prafulla Chandra Ghadai said.
“He was a complete man for which politicians across party lines appreciate him. He respected people’s verdict and was widely accepted in all circles,” former chief minister Giridhar Gamang said.
“We have lost a father figure and now it is our duty to follow his footsteps,” senior leader Panchanan Kanungo said.
“He translated his dreams into actions. He had dedicated his life in the service of mankind. It is our duty to carry forward his developmental works which he had started,” PCC president Prasad Harichandan said.
Veteran freedom fighter and former MP Bhabani Charan Patnaik convened the programme while Arjya Gnanendra compered the show.
Various socio-cultural organisations in the city also paid their homage to the departed leader.