Bhubaneswar/ Guwahati, April 21: Three-time Odisha chief minister and former Assam governor Jaki Ballabh Patik died at Tirupati in Andhra Pradesh on Tuesday, a family member said here. He was 89.
Patik passed away at a private hospital at 3 a.m.
He had arrived at Tirupati on Monday to attend the convocation of Tirupati Rashtriya Sanskrit University as the chief guest. He was the university's chancellor.
Patik, a veteran Congress leader, is survived by his wife Jayanti Patik, son Pruthvi Ballav Patik and two daughters - Sudatta Patik and Supriya Patik.
His body would be brought to Bhubaneswar by a special flight later on Tuesday and his last rites would be performed at Puri a day later.
"He suffered from chest pain late night and shifted to a local private hospital where he took his last breath at 3 a.m.", Patik's son-in-law Soumya Ranjan Patik told IANS.
Born on January 3, 1927 at Rameswar village in Khordha district, Patik was elected to the Lok Sabha for the first time in 1971 and became a deputy minister of defence in the Indira Gandhi-led government.
He was elected to Lok Sabha for the second time in 1980 and became the minister for tourism and civil aviation and labour.
He was the chief minister of Odisha for two terms - from 1980 to 1989 and from 1995 to 1999 and was also the leader of opposition in Odisha assembly from 2004 to 2009.
He was later appointed as the Assam governor in 2009 and completed his term last year.
Patik started his career as a jourlist before joining politics.
He was also a Sanskrit scholar and authored several books.
As a mark of respect, the Odisha government on Tuesday announced a state holiday and a seven-day state mourning.
Odisha Chief Minister veen Patik, Governor SC Jamir, several ministers and many political leaders expressed their condolence.
Prime Minister rendra Modi also condoled Patik's death, saying the latter would be remembered as a "pillar of Odisha politics".
"Shri JB Patik's contribution to Odisha's development will always be remembered. Saddened on his demise. Condolences to his family," Modi said in a statement.
"Shri Patik will be remembered as a pillar of Odisha politics, a popular leader always connected with people's views and aspirations," the Prime Minister added.
Assam Governor Padmabha Balakrish Acharya also condoled the sudden death of Patik.
The Governor has sent a condolence message to Jayanti Patik, wife of Late JB Patik. In his message, the Governor has said, “I am deeply pained on hearing the sad news of the demise of Jaki Ballav Patik today. He was not only a great public figure but also a renowned statesman with stout and inimitable leadership qualities.”
The officers and staff of Assam Raj Bhavan also condoled the demise of Patik in a meeting held today at the Raj Bhavan premises, Guwahati and observed two minutes silence in respect of the departed soul.
The Government of Assam declared half holiday for all state government offices and undertakings from 1:00 pm today.
In his condolence message, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said that Patik was a multi-faceted persolity who had made rich contribution towards literature, culture and in the political firmament spanning several decades. Gogoi further said that Patik was an erudite Sanskrit scholar who had several books to his credit.
The Chief Minister, while recounting his close rapport with Patik, said he endeared all by his amiable disposition. “A popular leader, he was deeply concerned with the welfare of the people. His contribution towards the growth and development of Odisha will be remembered for all time to come. The void created by his death will be hard to fill,” he said. Agencies & Our Bureau