Bhubaneswar, Jan 29:
Senior Congress leader Niranjan Patnaik today expressed deep condolences over the demise of freedom fighter and former MLA of Erasama Ratnamani Jema.
Patnaik said that Jema (97) was an active member of the non-cooperation movement during the freedom struggle. Though she belonged to a zamindar family, she earned the lasting affection of people in Paradip area due to her humble, affectionate and helpful nature. She was elected as MLA from Erasama in the election after independence was proof of her immense popularity. Though she withdrew from active political life later, she never really stopped working for the poor and the marginalised, Patnaik said in his tribute.
She breathed her last today at a private hospital in Cuttack due to old age problems. She is survived by a son and a daughter. Noted writer Manoj Das is the son-in-law of Jema. Her husband Narayan Birabar Samant had died earlier.