Bhubaneswar, July 14 (IANS) Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday congratulated sculptor Raghunath Mohapatra and Odissi danseuse Sonal Mansingh on being nominated to the Rajya Sabha.
Patnaik also expressed his deep gratitude to President Ram Nath Kovind for nominating two distinguished personalities who have made immense contributions in promotion of Odisha’s art and culture.
The President on Saturday also nominated farmer leader Ram Shakal, and author and columnist Rakesh Sinha.
Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan also congratulated both.
“There could not have been better news for the people of Odisha on the auspicious occasion of ‘Ratha Jatra’. Famous sculptor and pride of Odisha Raghunath Mohapatra and world famous Odissi dancer Sonal Mansingh are nominated to the Rajya Sabha,” tweeted Pradhan.
Reacting to his nomination to the upper house of the Parliament, Mohapatra gave all credit to Lord Jagannath.
He said that he had met the Prime Minister to seek help for the construction of a new Konark temple. He also said the work for the temple would begin soon.
Mohapatra is an internationally renowned authority on stone carving. He was earlier awarded Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan.
Sonal Mansingh, who has been performing Bharatnatyam and Odissi for over six decades, said: “I got the good news on Rath Yatra due to the blessings of Lord Jagannath. I will take Odisha’s art and culture forward.”
She was earlier awarded Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Sangeet Natak Akademi Award.