State

Odisha BJP MLA demands Bharat Ratna for Biju Patnaik

Bhubaneswar, Dec 26: Seeking Bharat Ratna - India's highest civilian award - for late Biju Patnaik, senior BJP leader Dilip Ray on Thursday said he will soon meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the matter.

"I will certainly apprise the Prime Minister and seek his intervention on the matter of honouring former Odisha chief minister Biju Patnaik with Bharat Ratna," Ray told reporters.

Expressing surprise over the state government's lack of interest in taking up the matter with the Centre, Rourkela BJP MLA Ray said "Biju Patnaik has already been recognised by the international community. He has been conferred with Bhumiputra award."

"Besides Russia and Nepal have also recognised Biju Patnaik's contributions. Therefore, India must honour Biju Patnaik with the highest civilian award," Ray, a former close aide of Biju Patnaik, said.

Welcoming the NDA government's decision to confer Bharat Ratna on Atal Behari Vajpayee and late Madan Mohan Malaviya, Ray said Biju Patnaik's contribution should also be recognised.

Demand of conferring Bharat Ratna on Biju Patnaik has been gaining ground with different organisations seeking Prime Minister's intervention into the matter.

-PTI

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