CM's quiet birthday

People from all walks wished chief minister Naveen Patnaik on his 71st birthday on Monday.

By SUBRAT DAS in Bhubaneshwar
  • Published 17.10.17
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Going strong: Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik celebrates his birthday with children at his home in Bhubaneswar on Monday. Picture by Ashwinee Pati

Bhubaneswar: People from all walks wished chief minister Naveen Patnaik on his 71st birthday on Monday.

Among them was Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who tweeted: "Birthday wishes to Odisha CM Shri Naveen Patnaik. Praying for his long and healthy life. @Naveen_Odisha."

Naveen's Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee and Union petroleum minister Dharmendra Pradhan were among the others, who wished him on Twitter.

The four-time chief minister, who has been ruling the state for 17 years now, was born to freedom fighter and politician Biju Patnaik and Gyan Patnaik on October 16, 1946, at his ancestral home Ananda Bhavan in Cuttack, which has now been turned into a memorial.

Hundreds of people, including schoolchildren, party workers, MLAs and ministers, made a beeline outside Naveen Nivas, his residence here this morning to convey their wishes to him.

Naveen kept his birthday celebrations a low-key affair this time. Many people offered him flowers, especially his favourite lily.

Thanking the people for wishing him on his birthday, Naveen, is his trademark white kurta-pyjama, said: "I will continue to work had for the development of the state and welfare of the people."

Finance minister Sashi Bhusan Behera said: "The people of Odisha have wished the chief minister a happy and healthy life. Let the God give him a long life to continue serving the people."

Party vice-president and agriculture minister Damodar Rout said: "Naveen babu is a gentleman. He never hurls abuses at the Opposition parties."

The BJD celebrated the occasion by organising a blood donation camp. Naveen, who promotes the donation programme, had launched the party's "Jeevan Bindu" programme three years ago.

Naveen had not celebrated last year because of the death of 11 students near his house in a gas balloon cylinder explosion. In 2011, 2013 and 2014, he skipped celebrations because of natural calamities such as floods and cyclones that had affected the stated around that time.