The birth anniversary of Biju Patnaik was observed at Nuagaon, the ancestral village of his family, on a low key, in comparison to other places in the State.
The event at Nuagaon village did not have any politicians as guests. Members of the family related to Biju Patnaik, who still live in the village as well as some other villagers, came together to remember the leader. They were led by Pramod Patnaik, who is a cousin of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. Mr Pramod is the son of K.Patnaik.
Biju’s father Laxmi Narayan Patnaik had left this village in Ganjam district and had settled in Cuttack. But other members of the family had preferred to stay back then, said Nihar Ranjan Pradhan, a resident of Nugaon who is involved in the birth anniversary programme of the great leader.
In the morning a memorial meeting was held at the village. The organisers had held essay writing, quiz and debate competitions on the life and achievements of Biju Patnaik a few days ago. The winners of these competitions were handed over prizes. The villagers had organised everything at their own cost.
The villagers, however, have a demand. According to Mr Patnaik and Mr Pradhan, they want the ancestral house of Biju Patnaik’s family at Nuagaon village to be preserved as a memorial. “Various old items used by the family during the time of Biju Patnaik’s father are still in this household, which should become part of this memorial,” they said.
This village is in need of development. A road connecting this village is in a dilapidated condition. Recently, a project was taken up at a cost of Rs 40 lakh to renovate and widen the road.