Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Eminent freedom fighter and Gandhian, Padma Shri Bhabani Charan Patnaik, passed away at the age of 98 here on Thursday.

He was suffering from old-age related complications and was undergoing treatment at the Capital Hospital in city, his family sources said. Patnaik is survived by two sons and three daughters.

The Odisha government announced that the veteran freedom fighter will be cremated with full state honours at Nimapada in Puri district today.

Patnaik was born on May 11, 1922 at Andhia in Nimapada. He was elected to the Rajya Sabha for three terms in 1961, 1966 and 1978. He was bestowed with the Padma Shri in 2018.

Odisha Governor Ganeshi Lal, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, National BJP Vice President Jay Panda, Pradesh Congress Committee President Niranjan Patnaik and several other leaders expressed their condolence over the death of Patnaik.

Chief Minister Naveen described Patnaik as a great patriot who had dedicated his entire life for the cause of the common man.

"A strong believer in Gandhian principles, he was a close associate of Biju Patnaik. A man of indomitable spirit, Bhavani Babu was very active till his death. In his death, the nation has lost a true Gandhian and Karmayogi," said the Chief Minister. He conveyed his deep sympathies for the bereaved family members.

Describing Patnaik as great son of India, Governor Ganeshi Lal said his life and works will continue to inspire generations.

Condoling death of the freedom fighter, Jay Panda tweeted, "I remember him fondly from my childhood; he was acquainted with my parents & frequented our home."

On the occasion of his 98th birthday, Patnaik had expressed desire to donate his body to the SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack, School and Mass Education Minister Samir Ranjan Dash said. However, sources at the SCB Medical College and Hospital said that it may not be possible to receive the body due to the prevailing situation.

(With Agency inputs)