Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Legendary leader and former Chief Minister of Odisha Biju Patnaik should be conferred with the highest civilian award Bharat Ratna, said former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda today.

Speaking during the launch event of the book ‘The Tall Man-Biju Patnaik,’ a pictorial biography of Biju Babu, Gowda said, "I strongly recommend that the Government of India should confer Bharat Ratna award on Biju Patnaik for his exemplary service before and after independence; he richly deserves the highest Indian award."

Former President Pranab Mukherjee, who launched the book ‘The Tall Man-Biju Patnaik’, stated, "I know him (Biju babu) from close quarters. I and my family have received lots of affection and love from him. It is a pride for a short man like me to attend the book release ceremony of tall man Biju babu."

Senior BJP leader & former deputy PM Lal Krishna Advani got emotional and stated, "Though I had attended several book release functions, I have not got a chance to attend this kind of a ceremony. I am proud to be present during the release of a book on the legendary leader Biju Patnaik."

CPI(M) party chief Sitaram Yechury said, "Biju Babu started his political career in the year when I was born. Probably I am not eligible to speak about him. We have grown up listening stories of his valour especially his efforts to upkeep democracy are memorable."

Senior journalist and columnist Prabhu Chawla reviewed the biography titled 'The Tall Man - Biju Patnaik' while the book release ceremony was presided over by Biju Patnaik's son and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

The pictorial biography was written by noted researcher Sundar Ganesan and launched at the function organised by the Biju Patnaik Birth Centenary Committee.

Speaking on the occasion Ganesan said "I was researching on Kamraj Plan when I found that Biju Patnaik was the author. I wanted to discover more about him and started to read his biographies. When I found that he was a pilot and had been on so many rescue and adventurous missions, it fascinated me and I thought that people all across India should know a personality like him much better and so I got into the subject."