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Biju Patnaik played a major role in making me PM: Deve Gowda

Describing Patnaik as a towering personality in Indian politics, Deve Gowda said the Union government should confer the Bharat Ratna on Biju Patnaik for his contribution to the nation.

india Updated: Jan 27, 2018 22:37 IST
HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Bhubaneswar
Deve Gowda,Biju Patnaik,Odisha
Former prime minister HD Deve Gowda was among leaders who unveiled a book The Tall Man Biju Patnaik, authored by writer and researcher Sundar Ganesan.(HT File Photo)

Former prime minister HD Deve Gowda Saturday supported Biju Janata Dal’s (BJD) demand for conferring Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award, on former Odisha chief minister Biju Patnik, citing his exemplary service before and after Independence.

Speaking during the launch of the late leader’s pictorial biography, ‘The Tall Man Biju Patnaik’, authored by writer and researcher Sundar Ganesan, in Bhubaneswar, Gowda also revealed that Patnaik played a major role in making him the chief minister of Karnataka and also the prime minister .

Former President Pranab Mukherjee, former deputy prime minister LK Advani and CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury were among those present at the function.

“Though politically we were not on the same side, we shared many common views,” said Mukherjee.

Yechury said Biju was always for secular forces and suggested that it would be a great tribute to him if BJD thinks of it again.

Advani, who got emotional during his speech, said, “Though I had attended several book release function, I have not got a chance to attend this kind of an event. I am proud to be present during the release of a book on the legendary leader Biju Patnaik.”

First Published: Jan 27, 2018 21:21 IST