Bhubaneswar,December 8 (LocalWire):Veteran politician and former minister Bhagabat Prasad Mohanty passed away following cardiac arrest on Saturday night at a city-based private hospital.
Mohanty, a prominent peasants’ leader, lawyer besides contributing immensely for growth of cooperative movement in the State, was 90.
He is survived by widow, two sons and two daughters.
Elected three times to the State assembly in 1971, 1985 and 1995 from Kendrapara assembly seat, Mohanty had donned the mantle of revenue and higher education minister in the State cabinet with distinction.
He was widely regarded and adored for his upright traits in public life, erudite scholarly character, grass connect with people besides contributing for public institutions in Kendrapara.
He founded Kendrapara urban cooperative bank, Dinabandhu Sahu Law College in Kendrapara besides government-run science college at Ayeba.
Mohanty, whose integrity in public life has won admiration from several quarters, had retired from active politics since past two decades.
He had authored an autobiographical account- ‘Sangrama ra swaralipi’, a candidly bringing to light the corruption in public life and discredited politicians and the hunger for power in Congress party in the eighties and nineties.
The Kendrapara district has plunged into deep mourning following the demise of Mohanty.
A pall of gloom descended the region as news of his death convulsed many in these parts to a state of shock.
In a spontaneous show of respect towards the late leader, shop owners have downed their shutters in Kendrapara town.
“Mohanty’s amiable and cordial traits in character and down-to-earth lifestyle had endeared him near all.
He was people’s leader in true sense. His demise has created a void in public life”, described Saroj Raj Singh, a senior lawyer in Kendrapara.
He was a lawyer par excellence particularly in civil litigations.
The magnanimity of character can be gauged from the fact he often defended the cases of poor people free.
He had come up with home library full of law books. As he had plunged into politics, he had donated the books to Kendrapara bar association, he said.
He was a shinning example probity in public life. When he was the revenue minister, he had ordered for roadside construction for expansion of road in Kendrapara town.
Setting an example, he had razed to ground compound wall of his residence in Kendrapara as portions had encroached the main road, recalled Gyan Ranjan Mohanty, a local resident of Kendrapara town.
He was a rare breed of politician, who meticulously stuck to ethics, principle and connect with people.
His house in Kendrapara is always crowded with people from all walks of life.
He never compromised with principle and he has amply portrayed in his autobiographical account, said Gourahari Pati, a close follower of the late leader.
“His virtue lies in the fact that he used to come forward to help out people regardless of political affiliation. His rapport and bond with people had his political opponents envious”, remarked Umesh Chandra Singh, a veteran left wing leader of Kendrapara.
In the hour of distress, he had made it a point to rush to the spot.
He was among the first to arrive at the spots of devastation during flood and cyclone, described Mohammad Mukhtar from Kendrapara town.
“Bhagabat Babu visited our village on countless occasions be it a marriage or obsequies”.
For us, he was like a family member. His death is a personal loss for all of us”, bemoaned Dharani Prusy from Ayeba village.