Senior Congress leader and former Odisha minister Raghunath Patnaik passed away at Jeypore in Koraput district today. He was 87 and is survived by his wife, two sons and a daughter. Patnaik was undergoing treatment at a private hospital at Jeypore. “He died around 8.10 am. He had been unwell for the past few days and was undergoing regular check-ups,” family sources said.
Patnaik had joined Congress in 1954 and won the Assembly election from Jeypore in 1961, 1974, 1977, 1980, 1990 and for the last time in 1995. Denied a Congress ticket for Jeypore seat, he contested the Assembly election in 2000 as an Independent candidate and lost the election to the BJD’s Rabi Narayan Nanda.
In 2004, Patnaik again contested the Assembly election from Jeypore on a Congress ticket but was defeated by the ruling BJD candidate. With a political career spanning nearly five decades, Patnak had held portfolios of law, finance and panchayati raj in the state government.