Bhubaneswar, Feb 18: BJD Vice-President and former Odisha minister Kalindi Charan Behera died today following a brief illness at a private hospital here, family sources said.
Behera is survived by wife, two daughters and two sons. He was undergoing a treatment for the last few days and the death was caused by multi-organ failure, BJD leaders said.
A five-time legislator, Behera worked as minister holding several important portfolios in late Biju Patnaik-led ministry and also during Naveen Patnaik's government.
He was first elected to the Assembly as a Janata Party candidate from Salepur constituency in 1977. He won from the same seat as a Janata Dal candidate in 1990.
After joining BJD, Behera was elected twice from Salepur in 2000 and 2004 and from Cuttack Sadar assembly constituency in 2009 when his son Chandra Sarathi was fielded by the party from Salepur. Behera was denied BJD ticket for the 2014 elections.
A multi-faceted personality, he had written several books and took a keen interest in social, cultural and sports activities. The state assembly mourned his death with members observing a minute's silence in his honour and paying tributes to the departed leader.
The assembly also condoled the death of former MLA Dayanidhi Kissan. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik paid floral tributes to the departed leader and said, "All of us are deeply distressed by the sad demise of Kalindi Babu." Describing Behera as a popular leader, Patnaik said the late leader got elected to the assembly many times and worked ably as minister.
The chief minister conveyed deep condolence to the bereaved family. Among others, Congress stalwart and leader of opposition in assembly, Narasingha Mishra and BJP legislature party leader Basant Panda condoled the demise of Behera describing him as a writer, able politician, social worker and lover of sports and culture.