Former Orissa CM dead

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By OUR CORRESPONDENT in Bhubaneshwar
  • Published 4.08.06

Bhubaneswar, Aug. 4: The “iron lady” of Orissa, Nandini Satpathy, died in the city’s Capital Hospital this evening following a massive cardiac arrest. She was 76.

The former chief minister was taken to the hospital around 2 pm and she died at 8.20 pm. She is survived by two sons while her husband Debendra Satpathy died in 1990.

Daughter of poet Kalindi Charan Panigrahi, Satpathy joined the Congress in the early sixties and was elected to the Rajya Sabha in 1967. She later became Union deputy minister for information and broadcasting

Satpathy, who grew close to Indira Gandhi, became the chief minister of Orissa in 1972 and occupied the position twice. She was elected to the Assembly in a bypoll from Cuttack that year. She later switched to Dhenkanal.

She was said to be the inspiration for Gulzar’s Aandhi. Though it was presumed that the story was based on the life of Indira Gandhi, Gulzar later clarified that the real inspiration was Nandini and her husband Debendra.

After wielding enormous power in the Emergency days, Satpathy joined Congress for Democracy and later formed Jagrata Orissa.

Satpathy rejoined the Congress and was elected to the Assembly. She headed the state Congress committee on the eve of the 1990 Assembly polls and was elected from Gondia constituency that year, leaving the Dhenkanal seat for her younger son, Tathagata.

She won accolades for translating Taslima Nasreen’s Lajja into Oriya.