Bhubaneswar: Mortal remains of former Rajya Sabha member Pyarimohan Mohapatra were consigned to flames here today as his near and dear ones and admirers bid a tearful adieu to the departed leader.
The last rites were performed at the Satya Nagar crematorium in the presence of a host of dignitaries as Mohapatra's son Sambit lit the pyre this evening in presence of hundreds of well wishers, bureacrats and top politicians.
After the body of Mohapatra arrived here today following his demise at a Mumbai hospital last night, a host of dignitaries including Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu and Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan paid floral tributes to the late leader.
As the mortal remains of Mohapatra arrived here, political leaders and people from different walks of life thronged the Biju Patnaik Airport as well as his house to have a last glimpse of the departed leader.
Naveen Patnaik, who paid floral tributes to the late leader, said Mohapatra had created a niche for himself in Odisha politics through his organisational skills and political acumen.
"I am distressed at the passing away of former MP Pyarimohan Mohapatra. He had a distinguished career as a civil servant and is known for his hard work and calibre. Later he came to politics and became a MP. In politics too he has proved his mettle," the Chief Minister said in a message.
"My deep sympathies are with the bereaved family members; may his soul rest in peace," said Patnaik.
Apart from Patnaik, Ministers and leaders including Finance Minister Pradip Amat, Industries Minister Debi Prasad Mishra and Women and Child Development Minister Usha Devi and BJD spokesperson S N Patro paid homage to the departed soul.
Mohapatra's demise was condoled by many including Odisha Governor S C Jamir, Leader of Opposition in Odisha Assembly Narasingha Mishra, Lok Sabha Member Baijayant Panda, Odisha BJP President Basant Panda, Union ministers like Jual Oram, Suresh Prabhu,Dharmendra Pradhan, Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) President Prasad Harichandan.
Mohapatra, who had been undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Mumbai, breathed his last at the age of 77 years last night.
Regarded as the chief strategist and mentor of Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, the former IAS officer played a key role in deciding the shape and contours of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) after the regional party was formed in 1997.
Mohapatra happened to be Principal Secretary to Biju Patnaik when he was chief minister.