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Nandini Satapathy dies at 75

Written by: Staff

Bhubaneswar, Aug 4 (UNI) Eminent writer and former Chief Minister Nandini Satapathy, who was elected to Orissa assembly seven times, died tonight at a local hospital after a prolonged illness.

She was 75 and is survived by two sons.

Her youngest son Tathagat Satpathy is BJD's Parliament member and editor of language daily Dharitri.

Her condition deteriorated today and was taken to the Capital Hospital where she breathed her last.

Known as iron lady of Orissa, Nandini Satpathy, daughter of Padmabhusan Kalindi Charan Panigrahi, was born in June 1931 and had authored many poems and short stories.

Her work has been translated and published in a number of languages. In 1998, she was given the prestigious Sahitya Bharati Samman Award for her outstanding contribution to Oriya literature.

She led the student movement and organised relief work in distant villages affected by floods and drought. She was elected to Rajya Sabha as Congress member in April 1962 and became Deputy Minister Information and Broadcasting. She was re-elected to Rajya Sabha in 1968 and served as the Deputy Minister attached to the Prime Minister in 1969.

At central council of ministers, Ms Satapathy earned a name and led Indian film delegation to Moscow in 1966.

She was twice Chief Minister of Orissa during 1972 and 1973 and again during the emergency between 1974 and 1976 and considered to be one of the most successful chief ministers the state had.

She was elected to the Orissa Assembly for seven times during her four decades of active political career.

She led the Indian National Congress to victory in the 1974 Assembly elections. However, with the fall of Indira Gandhi in 1977, she left the Congress to join the Janata Party. She was elected to state Assembly thrice from Dhenkanal constituency in 1977, 1980 and 1985 elections.

With the fall of the Janata government in 1980, Ms Sathpathy successfully contested the Assembly in 1980 as an independent candidate. In 1985, she founded a regional party called Jagrata Orissa and became the only candidate from her party to be elected to the Assembly.

In 1990, she returned to the Indian National Congress and was elected consecutively in 1990 and 1995 Assembly elections from Gondia constituency.

She was also appointed as member working committee of the All India Congress Committee and held the Orissa Pradesh Congress Chief.

Orissa Governor Rameswar Thakur, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, his council of ministers and leaders of all political parties in the state visited her residence at Suryanagar to pay last tribute.

Family sources said the cremation would be held tomorrow on arrival of her eleder son.


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