Former Odisha speaker Somnath Rath passes away

Berhampur: Former speaker of Odisha Assembly and senior Congress leader Somanath Rath passed away at his residence at Bhanjanagar in Ganjam district today, family sources said.
 
He was 89 and survived by three sons and as many daughters. Rath was ill for quite some time.
 
A three-time MLA (1971, 1974 and 1980) from Bhanjnagar constituency, he was also elected to the Lok Sabha from Aska seat in 1985.
 
In 1974, he was the minister of state for health, urban development and agriculture.
 
Rath had served as the speaker in the state assembly from 1980-84. He was also selected as one of the members in the speaker panel in the Lok Sabha.
 
Rath resigned as Speaker and joined as agriculture minister in February, 1984.
 
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee president Jaydev Jena condoled the demise of Rath.
 
His cremation would be held on Tuesday at Bhanjanagar.
 
Former union minister Chandra Sekhar Sahu, former state assembly speaker Chintamani Dyansamantara also condoled his death.