Odisha's former and first tribal Chief Minister, Hemananda Biswal, passed away at 82 on February 25. The former minister had been suffering from Pneumonia for the last few days and was admitted to a private hospital in Bhubaneswar after a brief illness on Friday.
He is survived by five daughters — Sabita, Sanjukya, Manjiulata, Sunita and Anita.
Biswal belongs to a Bhuyan tribal of the Jharsuguda district. He began his political career as a chairman of Kirimira panchayat Samiti of Jharsuguda. Later, he was elected to the Odisha assembly for the first time in 1974 from the Laikera constituency. He was elected as the MLA six times from the same seat.
In 1995, he was made deputy chief minister by JB Patnaik. The Bhuyan tribal was elected as the chief minister from 1989 to 1990, replacing the then chief minister JB Patnaik. He served as the CM for the second time, from 1999 to 2000, after erstwhile chief minister Giridhari Gamang.
But then, in the 2000 assembly elections, the Congress was defeated by the BJD-BJP alliance, and the party has never been able to make a come back in the state since then. In 2009 he was elected as an MP from Sundargarh, Hindustan Times reported.
PM, CM Patnaik, Leaders Express Grief
Prime Minister Narendra Modi expressed his condolences.
"Anguished by the passing away of former Odisha CM Shri Hemananda Biswal Ji. He was active in public life for many years and worked extensively for people. In this sad hour, my thoughts are with his family and supporters," The PM said.
President of the state Congress committee, Niranjan Patnaik, said Biswal stood for Congress's ideas throughout his life. "Congress will miss him dearly," Patnaik said.
The Congress party, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, and leaders of the states expressed their grief to the bereaved family.
Also Read: Orange Peel To BioFuel Precursor? IIT Mandi Researchers' Approach To Clean, Green Energy