Former Governor of Assam and three-time Chief Minister of Odisha Janaki Ballav Patnaik is no more. He passed away in a private hospital at Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh at 3 am on Tuesday, family sources said.
Mr. Patnaik, a veteran Congress leader, was 89 years old and is survived by his wife Jayanti Patnaik, son Pruthvi Ballav Patnaik and two daughters – Sudatta Patnaik and Supriya Patnaik.
According to his son-in-law Soumya Ranjan Patnaik, Mr. Patnaik had gone to Tirupati from Bhubaneswar on Monday to attend the convocation ceremony of Rashtriya Sanskrit Vidyapeetha there on Tuesday. Mr. Patnaik was Chancellor of the university.
He felt pain in his chest at around 11 p.m. on Monday night and was rushed to a private hospital where he passed away at 3 a.m.
The body of the late leader will be brought to Bhubaneswar by a special flight in the afternoon for cremation at Swargadwara in Puri.
Mr. Patnaik had returned to Odisha in December last after completing his full term of five years as Governor of Assam.
He was born in Puri district on January 3, 1927. He was Chief Minister of Odisha from 1980 to 1989 and again from 1995 to 1999. He was also the Leader of Opposition in Odisha Assembly from 2004 to 2009.
Mr. Patnaik, who started his career as a journalist, was a Sanskrit scholar and wrote several books.
‘End of an era in Odisha politics’
Leaders cutting across party lines made a beeline for his residence in Bhubaneswar after the body was brought was brought from Tirupati..
Odisha Governor S.C. Jamir, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Ministers and leaders of various parties reached the Forest Park residence to pay floral tributes to the veteran Congress leader.
“J.B. Patnaik will be remembered as a multi-faceted personality who influenced the socio-cultural and political life of Odisha for a long period. His death marks the end of an era in Odisha politics,” the Chief Minister said in a condolence message.