GUWAHATI, April 21 – Former State Governor Janaki Ballav Patnaik died at Tirupati today. He was 88.
A freedom fighter, Sahitya Akademi Award winning litterateur, Sanskrit scholar of repute, leading academician as well as a leading politician of his time, Patnaik served Odisha as its Chief Minister for three terms and is described to be the longest serving Chief Minister of Odisha.
He served the Tirupati Sanskrit University as its vice chancellor in 2008. He was sworn in as Governor of Assam on December 11, 2009 and served the State in that capacity till December 10, 2014.
Patnaik was a recipient of the prestigious Utkal Ratna Award of the Utkal Sahitya Samaj of Odisha.
Governor Padmanabha Balakrishna Acharya has condoled the sudden demise of Patnaik at Tirupati early this morning, said a Raj Bhavan press release.
Governor Acharya has sent a condolence message to Patnaik’s wife Jayanti Patnaik. In his message, the Governor has said, “I am deeply pained on hearing the sad news of the demise of Janaki Ballav Patnaik today. He was not only a great public figure but also a renowned statesman with stout and inimitable leadership qualities. Having been a minister of the Union of India and also the Chief Minister of Odisha for three terms, besides holding several other prestigious positions, he had achieved great heights in his commendable career. He also enjoyed laudable reputation as an able Governor of the State of Assam.”
According to an official press release, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi has also condoled the death of Patnaik.
In his condolence message the Chief Minister described Patnaik as a multi-faceted personality, who had made rich contributions towards literature, culture and to the political arena of the country spanning several decades. Gogoi further said that Patnaik was an erudite Sanskrit scholar, with several books to his credit.
Meanwhile, as a mark of respect for the former State Governor, the Government of Assam declared a half holiday for all State government offices and undertakings from 1 pm today. However, emergency services and other programmes already scheduled on a State scale, did not fall under the purview of the half holiday.
The national flag was also flown at half-mast in the State capital and district and sub-divisional headquarters of the State, said a separate official press release.