Veteran tribal leader and five-time MLA from Padampur seat in Odisha’s Bargarh district, Bijay Ranjan Singh Bariha died here on Sunday night, family sources said on Monday. He was 65.
He was undergoing treatment at a hospital in Bhubaneswar for quite some time due to several ailments.
Bariha is survived by his wife Tilotama, daughters Barsha, Kadambini, and son Bhojraj.
He was elected to the state assembly five times from Padampur seat — twice on Janata Dal ticket in 1990 and 1995, and three times on BJD ticket in 2000, 2009 and 2019.
He also served as SC, ST development minister in Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s cabinet between 2009 and 2011.
Bariha’s mortal remains have been taken to Odisha Assembly premises where leaders of all political parties paid floral tributes to the departed soul.
His body is being taken to his ancestral house at Padampur, where last rites will be conducted, a family source said.
Senior leaders from Odisha including Governor Ganeshi Lal and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik condoled his death.
Bariah was the sixth legislator to have died after the 2019 elections.
Earlier, two sitting BJP MLAs — Madan Mohan Dutta (Balasore) and Bishnu Sethi (Dhamnagar), and three BJD legislators Bishnu Das (Tirtol), Pradeep Maharathy (Pipili) and Kishore Mohanty (Brajarajnagar) had died.