Former Odisha minister Pradeep Maharathy dies of Covid-19
At least 47 MLAs of the 147-member Odisha assembly, including deputy Speaker Rajanikanta Singh and several ministers, have tested positive for Covid-19Updated: Oct 04, 2020, 11:31 IST
Pradeep Maharathy, a Biju Janata Dal legislator from Pipili, died in a private hospital in Bhubaneswar on Saturday night, 18 days after he tested positive for the coronavirus disease (Covid-19).
Maharathy, 65, tested positive for the viral infection on September 14. He suffered from co-morbidities such as diabetes and hypertension. He became the first sitting MLA in the state to have succumbed to the disease.
The seven-time MLA and former minister had been on ventilator support since Friday. He is survived by wife, son and daughter.
At least 47 MLAs of the 147-member Odisha assembly, including deputy Speaker Rajanikanta Singh and several ministers, have tested positive for Covid-19.
Leaders cutting across party lines paid tributes to Maharathy. Describing him as a close friend, Odisha assembly Speaker Surjya Narayan Patro said Maharathy’s death was a loss for the entire state.
Hundreds of people thronged Maharathy’s residence to pay their last respects.
Maharathy had a political career spanning three-and-half decades that saw him courting controversies.
He started his career with the newly formed Bharatiya Janata Party in 1985 before joining Janata Dal the same year, when he won his first assembly election from Pipili. He joined the BJD in 2000 and was a favourite of Chief minister Naveen Patnaik as well as late chief minister Biju Patnaik.
In 2004, he had 27 criminal cases against him for attempt to murder, molestation, rioting, theft, criminal intimidation and dacoity, according to his affidavit filed before Election Commission. His affidavit to the election commission before last year’s assembly elections said he had five cases pending against him relating to unlawful assembly, causing hurt and theft.
In rest of the cases, he was either acquitted or the courts did not take cognisance.
He would be cremated at Swargadwar crematorium in Puri town later on Sunday.