Former Minister Damodar Rout passes away

Bhubaneswar: Former Minister and veteran Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader Damodar Rout passed away early Friday morning while undergoing treatment at a private hospital here. He was 82.

Rout was suffering from age-related ailments. He fell ill following a cardiac arrest on March 18. 

His condition was extremely critical as he was in a ‘brain dead’ state, family sources said.

Rout, a seven-time MLA, had served in the Cabinet of Naveen Patnaik and his father Biju Patnaik. 

He was elected to the state Assembly five times from Ersama and twice from Paradeep.

The veteran BJD leader was expelled from the party in September 2018 for “anti-party” activities. 

Rout had joined BJP days before the 2019 polls and unsuccessfully contested the 2019 Assembly elections on a BJP ticket from the Balikuda-Ersama constituency.

Later he resigned from the BJP. 

In January this year, the ruling BJD revoked the expulsion order on “sympathy grounds” when he was undergoing treatment.