Former Odisha Minister, nine-time MLA and veteran Congress leader, Janab Habibulla Khan died at a private hospital in Visakhapatnam yesterday following a prolonged illness. He was 81. The entire undivided Koraput district plunged into grief and despair when the news of his death broke out.
Habibulla Khan never tasted defeat in his political career, but he lost to the ultimate truth of life – death. He had won from Nabarangpur Assembly seat in 1971, 1974, 1977, 1980, 1985, 1990, 1995, 1999 and 2004. He stopped contesting only when the seat became reserved for STs in 2009.
Born in 1934, he started his political journey from Taragam near Nabarangpur as the Sarapanch. He won in 1971 and 1974 as the Swatantra Party candidate and later joined the Congress. Former Odisha CM Sadashiva Tripathy, who also hailed from Nabarangpur, was his political mentor.
Former Odisha CM and Ex Assam Governor JB Patnaik, Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik, PCC President Prasad Harichandan, former PCC President Niranjan Patnaik and former Nabarangpur MP Pradeep Majhi have condoled the demise of Janab Habibulla Khan.