PM Modi Honors Biju Patnaik on 108th Birth Anniversary in Bhubaneswar

Tribute to the visionary leader's legacy and contributions to Odisha.

Update: 2024-03-05 09:19 GMT
Biju Patnaik

Bhubaneswar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday paid homage to former Odisha Chief Minister Biju Patnaik on the latter’s 108th birth anniversary.

“I pay homage to the legendary Biju Patnaik Ji on his birth anniversary. His visionary leadership and indomitable spirit continue to inspire generations. His contributions to our nation and his unwavering commitment to development are exemplary,” Modi posted on ‘X’.

“Today, on this special day, I look forward to being among the people of Odisha to inaugurate various projects in Chandikhole,” he added.

Born to Ashalata Devi, a Bengali mother, and Odia father Lakshiminarayan on March 5, 1916 in Cuttack city, Biju served as Odisha CM for two terms – from June 23 1961 to October 2, 1963 and again from March 5, 1990 to March 15, 1995. The late leader’s ancestors hailed from G Nuagaon, Bellaguntha of Ganjam district. He was a trained pilot.

He was honoured by the British rulers for his bravery in releasing some British families during the Second World War who were imprisoned by the Japanese.

During the Sino-Indian War in 1962, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru consulted Biju Patnaik for advice. He was believed to be very close to Nehru.

Biju was known for his daredevilry act as a pilot. He had formed the Kalinga Airline in 1947. Kalinga Airline’s DC-3s were also used to drop supplies at the north-eastern area of the country and provide services to the army personnel in the north-east area of the country.

Biju had rescued former Indonesian Vice President Muhammad Hatta and Prime Minister Sutan Sjahrir from their enemies on July 22, 1947. He was given honorary citizenship in Indonesia and was awarded with the highest civilian award “Bhoomi Putra”, a rare honour given to any foreigner.

During the Emergency declared in 1975, Biju was one of the leaders arrested to oppose then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s authoritarian rule. He was released from jail in 1977.

The current ruling party in Odisha, Biju Janata Dal (BJD) was named after Biju Pattnaik to fulfill his dreams.

Biju Patnaik had not breathed his last at his residence on April 17, 1997.

The Odisha government has been celebrating Panchayati Raj Day on March 5 every year to mark Biju Babu’s birth anniversary.


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