Bhubaneswar: Odisha BJP legislator and former union minister Dilip Ray has requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to confer Bharat Ratna on former Odisha chief minister late Biju Patnaik. The state government has planned to celebrate the birth centenary of Biju Patnaik failing next year in a grand way.
"Patnaik was one of the rare breed of leaders whose field of action was not confined to the state or national territories, but transcended to the international theatre," Ray wrote to Modi recently.
Although he engaged himself with the civilian political activities, his aviation prowess pulled him into many military operations authorized by various governments where his exploits became a part of the modern folklore, he added.
He said Biju babu was awarded the highest civilian honour of Indonesia "Bhumi putra" for his heroic contribution for that country. He informed that the state government recently passed a resolution, seeking the highest civilian honour for the architect of modern Odisha.
"I take this opportunity to remind you and seek your earnest interference to expedite the process of conferring Bharat Ratna on Patnaik ahead of his birth centenary celebrations in 2016," said Ray, who had earlier also urged the prime minister to confer Bharat Ratna on the legendary leader of the state.
He proved himself to be a leader having a vision for the whole humanity when he instituted the prestigious Kalinga award in Unesco, which is conferred every year on eminent scientists of the world.
His multi-faceted personality, daredevilry, vision and his contribution to the country makes a fit case for conferment of Bharat Ratna on this eminent son of the soil, said Ray.
The BJP leader said people, irrespective of their political affiliations and ideologies in the state, were united in demanding the Bharat Ratna for Biju Patnaik.