Bhubaneswar: The mortal remains of noted socialist leader and former Lok Sabha Speaker Rabi Ray was today consigned to flames at his native village in Khurda district with full state honours.
Ray’s nephew lit the funeral pyre at Bhanragarh village in the presence of hundreds of people including Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, his Bihar counterpart Nitish Kumar, former rpt former JD-U president Sharad Yadav, Bhubaneswar MP Prasanna Patsani, Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister Sanjay Das Burma and Athagarh MLA Ranendra Pratap Swain.
Ray’s body was taken to his village for cremation in a procession and was given the gun salute.
Earlier Odisha governor S C Jamir, Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi, several MPs and MLAs had paid floral tributes to the departed leader at the Lohia Bhavan here.CPI-M general secretary Sitaram Yechury and party’s West Bengal unit secretary S K Mishra also condoled on the death of Ray, who was one of the noted socialist leaders in the country.
Patnaik said Ray’s death marked the end of an era, Nitish Kumar said the former Lok Sabha speaker was like a guardian for him and for many others in the socialist movement.
The state observed a one-day mourning today in his honour and the national flag was flown half mast on all government buildings for the day.
Ray is survived by his writer wife Saraswati Swain.