BJD plans overseas celebrations of Biju birth centenary

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Bhubaneswar, March 3 (IANS) The ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Thursday said it will celebrate the birth centenary of party leader and former chief minister Biju Patnaik across the globe from March 5.

Industry Minister and BJD general secretary Debi Prasad Mishra said the party was in touch with embassies and several Oriya organisations outside the country to celebrate the centenary.

The party will conduct the yearlong centenary celebration at the state and national levels from March 5, the birthday of Biju Patnaik.

“We are in touch with the Oriya associations in countries like the US, UK, Indonesia and Russia. We will celebrate the birth anniversary in all these countries. Details will be finalised later,” said Mishra.

Biju Patnaik contributed to Indonesia’s Independence and rescued by an airplane in 1947 Indonesian prime minister Sutan Sjahrir, who had been placed under surveillance by the colonial Dutch. The Indonesian government bestowed on him the country’s highest honour.

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Senior BJD leader Surya Narayan Patro rejected opposition allegation that the ruling party was confining Biju within the party, saying “he is above politics”.

“He is not confined to the BJD. He is a statesman and above politics. Anybody can celebrate his birth centenary,” said Patro.

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