Bhubaneswar: The 85th anniversary of ‘Utkala Dibasa’, which marks the formation of Odisha, was celebrated across the state as President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik greeted people on the occasion.
Several programmes were organised across the state as the day was observed to commemorate the sacrifices made by people for the formation of Odisha as a separate state on this day in 1936 when it was carved out of the combined Bengal- Bihar-Orissa province.
Patnaik said ‘peace and progress are the new identities’ of Odisha now as the state has achieved new feats in different sectors.
“Odisha has made significant progress in various fields. We need to turn the development process into a mass movement,” the chief minister said on Twitter.
During his visit to Cuttack on the occasion, Patnaik unveiled two statues of Mahatma Gandhi and Utkalmani Gopabandhu Dash.
He paid tributes to the legends and reformers like Utkala Gaurav Madhusudan Das, Maharaja Ramachandra Bhanjadeo, Maharaja Krushna Chandra Gajapati, Raja Baikunthanath Dey, Fakir Mohan Senapati, Gangadhar Meher and Gourishankar Ray.
“Utkalmani worked unselfishly for Odisha and his service will inspire people of the state,” he said.
Kovind wished for the progress of the state on the occasion of Utkala Dibasa.
“Congratulations to all, especially the people of Odisha on Utkal Day. The country is proud of the unique cultural heritage, natural beauty, architecture, handicrafts, and dance of this land, which convey the eternal message of love and peace to humanity,” he said on the microblogging site.
In his message, Modi tweeted, “Greetings on the special occasion of Utkala Dibasa. I bow to the unique culture of Odisha. The people of Odisha have contributed immensely to India’s progress. May the people of the state be blessed with happiness and good health.”
Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu and Odisha Governor Ganeshi Lal also greeted people of the state on the occasion.
People from different walks of life paid tributes separately to the late leaders who had fought for the state’s identity, though the government did not allow gatherings of more than 200 people as a measure to contain the spread of COVID-19.