People from all walks of life offered rich tributes to former Odisha chief minister and former Assam governor J B Patnaik on his first death anniversary on Thursday. Politicians, cutting across party lines, attended JB's death anniversary at Khurda where chief minister Naveen Patnaik unveiled his statue.
"J B Patnaik was an erudite scholar and eminent literary figure. He had a skilled political acumen for which he reached the top," Naveen said. The CM, who draws flak for his poor grip over Odia, lauded JB's efforts for promotion of Odia language and literature.
Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan, who also attended the programme, described JB an outstanding politician. "He was inspiration for all. Being a Sanskrit scholar, editor, three-time CM and Assam governor, he was an accomplished personality," Dharmendra said.
Earlier in the day, Odisha Pradesh Congress organized a meeting in remembrance of JB here. State Congress president Prasad Harchandan said JB was face of the Congress in Odisha. "He was a political statesman and provided a stable government for five years in 1980 after independence," Harichandan said.
Senior Congress leader Lalatendu Bidyadhar Mohapatra virtually broke down while narrating his association with JB. "He was a gem of a person. I still recollect those days when he taught me politics. Congress still feels his absence," Lalatendu said. JB, 89, was in Andhra Pradesh to attend convocation of Rashtriya Sanskrit University when he died of heart attack on April 21, 2015.