Cuttack, March 17 (IANS) President Ram Nath Kovind on Saturday dedicated the Anand Bhawan Museum and Learning Centre, the ancestral house of late former Chief Minister Biju Patnaik, to the people of Odisha.
Kovind, who is here on a two-day visit, inaugurated the museum in the presence of Governor S.C. Jamir, Biju Patnaik’s son and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and other officials.
Remembering the contribution of Biju Patnaik, the President said his legacy was above party politics and not only Odisha but all of India was proud of him.
He said Biju Patnaik was one among the prominent leaders in the country who always advocated for women empowerment and did everything for the honour and people of Kalinga (the erstwhile name and identity of Odisha).
“When Biju Babu was Minister of Steel, he was called the Steel Man in Delhi,” Kovind said.
Paying rich tributes to Biju Patnaik, the President said that it was an honour to pay homage to Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose and Biju Patnaik in the historic Cuttack city as both had played a crucial role in the freedom struggle.
Biju Patnaik was born on March 5, 1916, at Anand Bhawan, built by his father Laxmi Narayan Patnaik.
In January 2015, Biju Patnaik’s sons Naveen Patnaik and Prem Patnaik donated the property to the state government, following which it was developed into a museum and learning centre.
The museum features various personal belongings of Biju Patnaik, including his childhood photographs and other belongings, and also explains his role in the freedom struggle of India and Indonesia.
“Started my Odisha visit by paying tributes to Netaji Subhas at his birthplace and ancestral home in Cuttack. Netaji is cherished, remembered and missed to this day all over the country,” tweeted the President.
Kovind will also deliver the third foundation day lecture at the National Law University, Cuttack, on Saturday.
On Sunday, the President will address the centenary celebrations of the Rashtriya Sanskrit Sansthan in Puri. On the same day, in Bhubaneswar, he will grace the convocation of IIT Bhubaneswar as well as inaugurate the ICT-IOC (Institute of Chemical Technology -Indian Oil Corporation) Bhubaneswar campus.
He will also lay the foundation stone for the Skill Development Institute of Oil PSUs, before returning to Delhi.