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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Bhubaneswar: To mark the 105th birth anniversary of former Chief Minister and legendary statesman from Odisha, the late Biju Patnaik,  the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) took out a mass cycle rally from Cuttack to the Capital City this morning.

Several members of the Biju Chhatra Janata Dal (BCJD) and Biju Yuva Janata Dal (BYJD) took part in the rally which was flagged off from Anand Bhawan in Cuttack and culminated near the international airport in Bhubaneswar.

Clad in white T-shirts with embedded motifs of the late leader and BJD flags tied to the handles of their bicycles, thousands of youngsters rode along the 30 km journey amid enthusiasm.

After reaching their destination, the participants offered floral tributes at the statue of the towering leader near the airport.

“The rally was a huge success. We got overwhelming support from the people. I thank all the members of the party and people of Odisha for participating in the event," said BJD MLA Byomakesh Roy.

Biju Patnaik's birthday is also observed as Panchayati Raj Diwas across Odisha. The State government has already announced closure of all educational institutions across the State today to observe the occasion.

BJP National Vice President Jay Panda paid tributes to the renowned Statesman by penning heartfelt note on his Twitter page.

Panda wrote, "A legend in his own lifetime, bestowed high honours abroad, Biju uncle lives on in the hearts of the people of Odisha."

Internationally acclaimed sand artist Sudarsan Patnaik created a sand sculptor at Puri sea beach in his tributes to the former Chief Minister. He used six tons of sand to create the portrait with the message-'Tribute to The Tall Man Biju Babu'.

Meanwhile, the State government has decided to organise blood camps in every gram panchayat in the state till April 17-- the death anniversary of the legendary leader.

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