Odisha Assembly on Wednesday passed a resolution to recommend the Centre to confer Bharat Ratna, the highest civilian award of the country, on legendary leader and former chief minister Biju Patnaik.
In the resolution, it was also adopted to set up a statue of the legendary leader in Parliament and observation of birth centenary by centre.
The resolution was unanimously adopted as the Opposition Congress and BJP stayed away from the House protesting the suspension of Congress MLA Naba Kishore Das.
Before moving the resolution, the Government chief whip said all 28 members, including eight Ministers who participated in the motion, expressed deep anguish and criticised the Centre for not conferring Bharat Ratna on Biju Patnaik last year.
Describing Biju Babu as the second Konark of Odisha, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak recalled his contribution to the nation during freedom struggle and after independence.
Industry Minister Debi Prasad Mishra said Biju Patnaik was the man behind industrial progress of the State. Rourkela Steel Plant, Paradip Port, Express Highway and many other things could be possible due to his endeavours to see rapid progress of Odisha.
Stating that Biju Babu had made significant contribution to development of education in the State, Mishra said the Regional Engineering College (now NIT) at Rourkela and the Odisha University of Agriculture and University (OUAT) were possible.
Describing Biju Patnaik as a visionary leader, senior BJD leader Bed Prakash Agarwal, who worked as finance minister under him during his second stint as chief minister from 1990-95, said Patnaik’s contribution in nation building is immeasurable.
Biju Patnaik was born on March 5, 1916 and passed away on April 17, 1997.