Bhubaneswar, March 5: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday paid tribute to former Odisha chief minister Biju Patnaik on his birth anniversary, and said his visionary leadership and indomitable spirit continue to inspire generations. Modi is scheduled to visit Odisha's Chandikhole in Jajpur district later in the day to unveil development projects worth over Rs 19,600 crore.

“I pay homage to the legendary Biju Patnaik Ji on his birth anniversary. His visionary leadership and indomitable spirit continue to inspire generations. His contributions to our nation and his unwavering commitment to development are exemplary,” the prime minister said in a post on X. Biju Patnaik Birth Anniversary: Sudarsan Pattnaik Dedicates Sand Art to 'Biju Baba,' the Former Chief Minister of Odisha (View Pics)

“Today, on this special day, I look forward to being among the people of Odisha to inaugurate various projects in Chandikhole. I will also address a @BJP4Odisha public meeting,” he added. Modi is slated to address a rally of the BJP in Jajpur, considered a stronghold of the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD), which is named after the popular former CM. PM Modi Odisha Visit: Prime Minister Narendra Modi To Unveil Development Projects Worth Over Rs 19,600 Crore in State Today

PM Pays Homage to Ex-Odisha CM Biju Patnaik

The BJD has also been demanding Bharat Ratna, the country's highest civilian award, for Biju Patnaik, who was the chief minister of Odisha from 1961-63 and 1990-95. Patnaik was also an accomplished pilot, who had famously rescued former Indonesian prime minister Sutan Sjahrir in a Dakota aircraft from Dutch colonisers in 1947. The Indonesian government had twice conferred Biju Patnaik with 'Bhumiputra', its highest civilian award, for his daredevil mission.