Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has stepped into his 76th year today (October 16). From political figures including Prime Minister Narendra Modi to renowned persons and the common man offered hearty congratulations to the veteran politician who has been in power without interruption for 21 years—with a record five successive terms as the chief of the state.
As announced earlier, the BJD supremo skipped his birthday celebrations on Saturday in view of the prevailing COVID-19 situation in the state, the Chief Minister's Office said in a statement.
Patnaik in the statement said, "I am indebted to the wishes, love and blessings of the people across Odisha. We are reeling through a tough time and coming across several challenges since last year amid the COVID pandemic situation. I request everyone to engage themselves in some good work and not to come to Naveen Niwas. This will be the best ever birthday gift for me."
PM Modi wished Patnaik through his Twitter post: "Greetings to Shri Naveen Patnaik Ji on his birthday. I pray that he is blessed with a long and healthy life in service of the people."
Former PM HD Devegowda also extended warm wishes to Patnaik and wished him good health and long life.
The list of well-wishers among the big leaders included Odisha Governor Prof Ganeshi Lal, Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw and Union Minister of Minority Affairs Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi.
Moreover, Patnaik's counterparts from Assam, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Jharkhand, Meghalaya, and Kerala also wished him on his birthday.
Odisha Congress chief Niranjan Patnaik, Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla and State Assembly Speaker Dr Surjya Narayan Patro also wished the CM on his 76th birthday.
Naveen thanked one and all for extending warm wishes on his birthday.