Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Apr 30:
Senior BJD leader and Rajya Sabha member AU Singhdeo has proposed to the Centre conferment of ‘Bharat Ratna’ to former Odisha chief minister Biju Patnaik.
Raising the issue through a special mention during Zero Hour in the Upper House on Wednesday, Singhdeo drew the attention of Union Finance minister Arun Jaitley and said the former Odisha chief minister deserves this prestigious award for his immense contribution to the country during its freedom struggle and his daring act in rescuing Indonesian leaders during the freedom movement in that country on the request of the then prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
“Though Biju Babu could not become the prime minister, he was the fittest candidate for the post. My proposal was supported by all the members across the party lines,” Singhdeo told the media later.
While Singhdeo’s proposal was overwhelmingly supported by all BJD, JD and JD-U members, there was no response from any Congress or BJP members, who were found sitting on their desk silently, sources said.