Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik paid his last respects to BJD MLA and former Assembly Speaker Surjya Narayan Patro, who passed away at a private hospital in Bhubaneswar on Saturday evening.
Accompanied by 5T Secretary VK Pandian, CM Patnaik today visited the BJD leader’s residence at Nayapalli area and offered homage to the departed soul.
Expressing deep grief over the demise of the BJD strongman and former cabinet colleague, he condoled the bereaved family members.
The body of Surjya Patro will be cremated at his assembly constituency Digapahandi in Ganjam district today.
Since last night, Patro’s supporters also crowded his residence to offer last respect to the body. Several leaders cutting across the party line condoled his death.
Earlier in the morning, Patro’s body was taken to Odisha Legislative Assembly for the guard of honour.
Patro was under treatment for multiple ailments. He was admitted to a private hospital in Bhubaneswar a few days ago. However, he breathed his last at around 7.30 pm on Saturday.
The 74-year-old BJD leader had never witnessed defeat in his political career. He was elected to the State Legislative Assembly seven times in a row from Mohana and Digapahandi constituencies.
He won the Assembly elections first time from Mohana in Gajapati district in 1990.
During Naveen’s regime, he had held key posts in the government and worked hard on grassroots to strengthen the party in entire Ganjam district.
Surjya Patro was the minister in Naveen’s cabinet from 2002 to 2014 and from 2017 to 2019. He was elected the Speaker of Odisha Assembly in 2019. However, he resigned from the post in 2022 citing illness.