BHUBANESWAR: The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Thursday said former chief minister Biju Patnaik is above politics, and the party does not want to confine the legend in one party.
“He (Biju Babu) is not confined to BJD. He is a statesman, and he is above the politics. The party is celebrating the birth centenary of the legend and the government as well. Anybody can celebrate the birth centenary,” said senior BJD leader Surya Narayan Patro.
He rejected the growing perception that BJD is confining the former chief minister within the party.
Senior BJD leader Bedprakash Agrawal said the birth centenary of Biju Babu would be celebrated across the globe including in Indonesia.
He said the world has already acknowledged how Biju Patnaik contributed to Indonesia’s independence in 1947 and rescued Indonesian Prime Minister Sutan Sjahrir, who had been placed under surveillance by the colonial Dutch.
Industry minister and BJD general secretary Debi Prasad Mishra said the party is in touch with different embassies and several Odia organisations outside the country to celebrate the birth centenary and propagate the ideology of Biju Patnaik.
“We are in touch with the Odia associations in some countries like USA, UK, Indonesia and Russia. Biju Babu also had more or fewer associations with all these countries. We would celebrate his birth anniversary in all these countries. But nothing has finalised so far,” said Mishra.
The party has made elaborate arrangements to celebrate the birth centenary of former chief minister Biju Patnaik on March 5 in Bhubaneswar.