Thousands of people bid a tearful adieu to veteran leader, three-time Odisha CM, former Union Minister, Ex Assam Governor, Intellectual, Journalist, Writer and Sanskrit Scholar, Janaki Ballabh Patnaik alias JB Patnaik, who died on April 21 at Tirupati at the age of 89. People from all sections of the society attended his funeral at Swarg Dwar in Puri this evening. His last rites were conducted with full state honours.
Earlier, JB Patnaik’s funeral procession began at 11 AM from his residence and then proceeded to Congress Bhavan, where he was given floral tribute and full honour. The cortege then reached Vidhan Sabha. A guard of honour was given to him inside the Vidhan Sabha premises.
From Vidhan Sabha (Odisha Assembly), JB Patnaik’s funeral procession went to his village Rameswar via Khordha. It was an emotional moment at JB’s village where he was born. The mortal remains of JB Patnaik reached Puri Swargadwar at around 8 PM.
Over 50 thousand people were present at Swarg Dwar to bid farewell to JB. The cops had a tough time to control the situation. People chanted ‘Janaki Ballabh Amar Rahe’ and ‘JB Amar Rahe’. The Guard of Honour was given to JB Patnaik at 8:08 PM. The last rites were conducted in the presence of family members, relatives, fans and followers of JB Patnaik at around 8:35 PM.
His only son Pruthvi Ballabh Patnaik lit the funeral pyre. His son-in-law Soumya Ranjan Patnaik escorted the body throughout the procession. He had been with JB’s mortal remains since the arrival in Bhubaneswar yesterday.
Ministers Debi Prasad Mishra, Pradip Maharathy, MLA Maheswar Mohanty, Puri Collector Arabinda Agarwal, Puri SP, Leader of Opposition Narasingh Mishra, former Odisha CM Giridhar Gomang, other Congress leaders Prasad Harichandan, Niranjan Patnaik, Jayadev Jena, Suresh Routray and many others were present at the funeral site.
Earlier, Congress leader and former J&K CM Ghulam Nabi Azad arrived in Bhubaneswar to pay his last respect to the departed soul. He carried a message of Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi. He was also present during the funeral. Congress’ Odisha In-Charge VK Hariprasad and his deputy Subhankar Sarkar were also present at the funeral.
JB Patnaik has gone to Tirupati to attend the Convocation Ceremony of Tirupati Sanskrit University, which was scheduled to be held today. JB was the Chancellor of the University. He arrived in Tirupati on a special flight on April 20. In the night, JB felt some pain in chest and admitted to the hospital. Later, he died in the wee hours of April 21. The Odisha Government had declared an official holiday on April 21 and also announced a seven-day mourning in the state.
Born on 3rd January, 1927 at Rameswar village in Khordha district, JB Patnaik controlled the Odisha Politics as well as the Congress Party for long. He was the Chief Minister of Odisha from 1980 till 1989 and then from 1995 till 1999. He held the post of Assam Governor from 2009 till 2014. He was an Union Minister in Indira Gandhi’s Cabinet. President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister Narendra Modi hailed JB as a great leader. Modi even described him as a pillar of Odisha politics.