Bhubaneswar: Veteran tribal leader and former Odisha minister Chaitanya Prasad Majhi died at a hospital here Monday morning following brief illness.
Majhi (90) was admitted to the Capital Hospital here where he breathed his last, his family said.
He is survived by wife and four daughters, including BJD Rajya Sabha member, Sarojini Hembram.
A prominent tribal leader from Mayurbhanj district, Majhi had penned some books on tribal language and culture.
Leaders of political parties and distinguished persons, including Odisha Governor Ganeshi Lal, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan have condoled Majhi’s demise.
“Majhi was a veteran tribal leader, organiser and an able administrator and had contributed immensely for the development of Odisha and tribal people,” Patnaik said in a condolence message.
Stating that Majhi had also served as a Union minister in late Indira Gandhi’s cabinet, Patnaik said he was liked by one and all irrespective of political affiliations, for his amicable manners.
“In his death, Odisha has lost one of its great sons,” he said.
Expressing grief, Pradhan said Majhi had played a significant role in Odisha’s political as well as social life.
Born November 19, 1929, Majhi had started his career as a state government employee and made a foray into active politics in 1971. He was a member of Odisha Public Service Commission (OPSC) from 1979 to 1985.
He was a member of the Rajya Sabha from Odisha as a Congress candidate from 1972 to 1978 and had worked as a deputy minister in the Indira Gandhi-led government.
Majhi was the higher education minister in the Biju Patnaik ministry from 1990 to 1995. He was also a minister in the Naveen Patnaik ministry from 2006 to 2009.