Former Odisha Assembly Speaker Maheswar Mohanty passed away at a private hospital in the wee hours of Tuesday while undergoing treatment.
He was 67. Sources here said he breathed his last at 0325 a.m.
Mohanty was admitted to the hospital on October 31 after he fell ill and was diagnosed with a mild brain stroke.
He had several programs on October 31 in Puri and took part in the Gajalakshmi Puja celebration. Mohanty complained of uneasiness after he returned home from attending local functions.
A popular leader in Puri and a senior BJD leader, he represented the Puri Assembly Constituency five times consecutively from 1995 to 2014. As a lawyer by profession, he was elected to the State Assembly four times as a BJD candidate and once as a Janata Dal candidate.
Maheswar Mohanty was first elected to the Odisha Legislative Assembly in 1995 on the Janata Dal ticket and was subsequently elected to the Assembly in 2000, 2004, 2009 and 2014 as a BJD candidate.
During his long political career, he held many important posts. Mohanty was the Speaker of Odisha Legislative Assembly from 2004 to 2008. He held the Panchayati Raj, Tourism and Culture, Planning and Coordination, Law and Revenue and Disaster Management portfolios during his long political career
Mohanty started his political career in his student days and was the General Secretary of SCS College Students Union, Puri from 1973 -74 and General Secretary Banaras Hindu University (Oriya Society) from 1975-77.
He was also councillor of Puri Municipality during 1978-80, Member Board of Directors of Puri Urban Co-operative Bank (1982 – 85), Chairman Puri Municipality (1985 – 90) and 1992 – 95 President Managing Committee of G.M. Law College Puri since 1992.
He has also been a member of the Shri Mandir Managing Committee since 1994.
During his tenure, Mohanty attended the 50th Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference 2004 in Canada and 51st Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference 2005 in Fiji.
He has visited 15 countries, including the USA, UK, Germany, Australia, France.
Mohanty is survived by his wife and two sons.
Family sources said the last rites of Mohanty will be held at Swargadwar in Puri. Several political leaders and well-wishers have visited the hospital this morning to pay their last tribute to the departed soul.
His body will be first taken to the State Assembly at the hospital and then to the party office, where Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and several party leaders will pay tribute to the departed soul before being taken to his residence in Puri for the last rites.