Veteran BJD leader V Sugnana Kumari Deo dies at 87

Bhubaneswar: Veteran Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader and 10-time Odisha MLA V Sugnana Kumari Deo died at a private hospital in Chennai on Saturday while undergoing treatment, officials said. She was 87.

Deo breathed her last at about 1 am, hours after Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and other senior party leaders visited her at the hospital on Friday night.

She belonged to the royal family of Khallikote.

BJD president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik paid his tributes to the deceased leader at 'Sankha Bhawan', the party's state headquarters.

"She was a very senior leader of BJD and she made a lot of contributions towards the party. She has left her mark in the public service by representing both Khalikote and Kabisuryanagar. She was elected to the Assembly 10 times, It is an irreparable loss. May her soul rest in peace and my deepest condolence to the bereaved family", Patnaik said in a post on X.

The mortal remains of Deo were brought to Bhubaneswar from Chennai by a special flight this evening.

People from different walks of life also paid their tribute to the departed leader.

The body will be driven to Odisha assembly premises before being taken to Khalikote in Ganjam district, Finance Minister B K Arukha told reporters.

The funeral will be held as per the royal tradition at their family crematorium.

Odisha Governor Raghubar Das, Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan and many other dignitaries expressed their condolence on the demise of Deo.

Deo was first elected to the Odisha Assembly in 1963. She was an eight-time MLA from Khallikote and a two-time MLA from Kabisuryanagar. She was elected as MLA in 1963, 1974, 1977, 1985, 1990, 1995, 2000, 2004, 2009 and 2014.

Originally from Chennai, she had married the erstwhile royal scion of Khallikote late Purna Chandra Mardaraj Deo and was the daughter-in-law of Raja Ramchandra Mardaraj Deo, who had a significant role in the formation of separate Odisha state on linguistic basis on April 1, 1936.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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