Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Apr 17:
Amidst celebrations across the state to remember legendary Biju Patnaik on his 20th death anniversary today, the ruling party in Odisha BJD once again pressed their demand for Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award, for him.
Prior to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Odisha, several BJD leaders including Ranendra Pratap Swain and Pratap Jena had also demanded Bharat Ratna for Biju Patnaik.
Taking to microblogging site Twitter earlier, Ranendra Pratap Swain wrote:
— Raja Swain (@rajaaswain) April 8, 2017
Meanwhile, renowned sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik paid tribute to Biju Patnaik by creating a sand art, requesting the Bharat Ratna for the leader.
Political leaders, cutting across party lines, and people from all walks of life paid rich tributes to the leader on the occasion.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, the son of Biju Patnaik, offered floral tributes to the legendary leader at a function in the assembly premises.
“On the 20th death anniversary of Biju Babu, we should remember all the great works he did for Odisha and tremendous sacrifices he made for the state,” said the Chief Minister, who also visited the Biju Patnaik memorial in Puri to offer his tributes.
The Biju Janata Dal (BJD), which has been named after the legendary leader, organised several programmes across the state apparently to counter the impact of the BJP national executive meeting, which concluded here on Sunday.
While Prime Minister Narendra Modi took out a roadshow during the executive meeting, several stalwarts of the saffron party, including BJP Chief Ministers, attended the meet.
Bijayananda Patnaik, born on March 5 in 1916, was a two-time Chief Minister of Odisha.
(With IANS input)