Bhubaneswar: Describing Biju Babu as a towering personality, former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda on Saturday said Biju Patnaik played a major role in making him Prime Minister.
“Biju Patnaik played a major role in making me Chief Minister of Karnataka and Prime Minister of the country,” revealed the former Prime Minister at a book launching event on former Odisha Chief Minister Biju Patnaik here.
The former Prime Minister, former President Pranab Mukherjee, former Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani and CPI (M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury on Saturday unveiled a book “The Tall Man Biju Patnaik”. The book is authored by Sundar Ganesan.
Deve Gowda said the central government should confer the Bharat Ratna award on Biju Patnaik for his contribution to the nation.
“I strongly recommend that the Government of India should confer Bharat Ratna award on Biju Patnaik for his exemplary service before and after independence; he richly deserves the highest Indian award,” he added.
Former President Pranab Mukherjee said Biju Patnaik was a legend in his life time and a true nationalist.
“Biju Patnaik was a legend in his life time. He became a legend because of his contribution. He is not confined to the territory of Odisha. He belongs to the people of whole India,” said Mukherjee.
“I felt honoured and little apprehensive as a short man like me will speak of a truly tall man like Biju Patnaik, then I remembered what a fond of affection he had for me”, says the former President at the book release function.
Senior BJP leader and former deputy PM Lal Krishna Advani said, “I have not got a chance to attend this kind of a ceremony. I am proud to be present during the release of a book on the legendary leader Biju Patnaik.”
Senior journalist and columnist Prabhu Chawla reviewed the biography while the book release ceremony on ‘The Tall Man Biju Patnaik’. it was presided over by Biju Patnaik’s son and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.