Berhampur, May 30 (Localwire): Seventy-one-year-old senior BJD leader Surya Narayan Patro has been nominated as the 16th speaker of the 146-member Odisha assembly.
Patro, who has been elected to the state assembly for seven times in a row, has a long experience of House proceedings. “It’s a new assignment for me after serving long terms as ministers. I have the confidence of all members of the assembly, and will ensure proper function of the house,” Patro said.
Patro was elected by a margin of over 40,000 votes from Digapahandi in the recently-concluded elections.
In the recent past, Patra had served as ministers of various government departments, including fishery and animal resources development, energy, science and technology, environment, tourism, Information Technology (IT), revenue and disaster management, Information and Public Relations and food supply.
He was awarded a honorary doctorate by Desh Bhagat University (BDU) in Amloh, Punjab, in February 2019. He also holds a law degree from Berhampur University.
Popularly known as Anna (brother) in Ganjam district, Patro entered politics in 1977 when he contested for Berhampur municipal councilor. He was also involved in campus politics of Berhampur University.
Patro will be the third person from Ganjam district to become an assembly speaker. Earlier, Lingaraj Panigrahy (1961-67), Somanath Rath (1980-84) and Chintamani Dyansamantara (1996-2000) were the speakers.