Bhubaneswar:4/108/20 Former Odisha Minister and BJD MLA from Pipili constituency, Pradeep Maharathy passed away at the age of 65 while undergoing treatment at a private hospital in Bhubaneswar on 3rd, October midnight
The senior BJD leader had reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 on September 14 and was put on ventilator support following deterioration of his health condition Friday evening. After the last darshan at his Bhubaneswar residence, Maharathy’s mortal remains will be taken to Odisha State Assembly and then to BJD party headquarters. He will be taken to Pipili, his ancestral village where people will pay last respects to the veteran leader at his farmhouse. His mortal remains will be consigned to flames at Puri Swargadwar. Condolence messages started pouring in immediately after the news of his demise surfaced.
Senior Congress MLA Suresh Routray who happens to be a relative of Maharathy spoke of his close association with the leader. We had been working with each other for the last 40 years and even though we had different political affiliations, we were close brothers. Maharathy was a great leader and a man with developmental ideologies at the grassroots level, said Routray.“He was a straight-forward person with a clean heart and worked very hard to make others happy,” said Higher Education Minister & Maharathy’s colleague Arun Sahoo.
Maharathy started his political career as a student leader in SCS College, Puri, and was elected to the Odisha Legislative Assembly from Pipili Assembly constituency for the first time in 1985 on a Janata Party ticket.
He was elected as a legislator seven times from Pipili out of which five times were on Biju Janata Dal (2000-2019) ticket and once each on Janata Party (1985) and Janata Dal (1990) tickets.
As a minister, he held many important portfolios like Panchayati Raj & Drinking Water Supply, Agriculture, and Fisheries during his terms.
On January 19, 2012, Maharathy resigned from the post of Agriculture Minister on ‘moral grounds’ after being accused of shielding the accused in the infamous Pipli gangrape case. He again resigned from the post in 2019 following criticism over his controversial remarks on the acquittal of two persons arrested in connection with Pipili gang rape.