Bhubaneswar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan paid tribute to Biju Patnaik on his 103 birth anniversary.
“Remembering Biju Babu on his Jayanti. His noteworthy efforts for Odisha’s development continue to be cherished by generations. He undertook numerous measures for empowerment of the poor and marginalised during his long years in public service,” Modi tweeted.
Biju Patnaik, who was born on this day in 1916, was a two-time Chief Minister of Odisha. Biju Patnaik was initially in the Congress but he left the party after differences with Indira Gandhi and floated a regional party named ‘Utkal Congress’. Later, he was a part of the Janata Dal till his demise in 1997.
Biju Patnaik or Bijayananda Patnaik was born to Laxminarayan and Ashalata Patnaik on March 5, 1916, at Cuttack in Odisha. After passing out with a degree in Aeronautics from the Aeronautical Training Institute of India, Biju babu started his career with the Indian National Airways.
He was imprisoned in 1945 for taking part in the Quit India Movement. Later, Biju babu also played a prominent role in the Nepalese democratic movement and Indonesia’s struggle for freedom from the Dutch rule. For his exemplary contribution to the Indonesian freedom struggle, he was conferred with the highest civilian award in Indonesia titled ‘Bhumi Putra’.
His son and current Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik subsequently split Janata Dal and founded Biju Janata Dal.