Bhubaneswar: Well-known poet, dramatist, senior Congress leader and former minister Jadunath Das Mohapatra passed away at a private hospital here on Tuesday afternoon. He was 90.
Born on January 3, 1929, Mohapatra was a student leader. He was the president of the Kolkata Utkal Chhatra Sangh. After completing graduation in Law, he had joined the Congress in 1962 and elected as the general secretary of the Balasore District Congress Committee from 1964 to 1967 and later became its president for three years from 1967 to 1970.
A three-time MLA, Mohapatra was elected to the Odisha Assembly in March 1971 from his home constituency Soro as a candidate of the Utkal Congress and served as deputy finance minister in 1972 in the cabinet of former Chief Minister Nandini Satpathy. In 1977, he was re-elected as Congress MLA from Soro. He retained his seat in the 1985 Assembly elections and was the Education minister in the cabinet of former Chief Minister Janaki Ballav Patnaik.
A reputed writer, Mohapatra authored Odia novels ‘Gramya Nadira Tire’, ‘Bibhisika’, ‘Manisha Rajyaran Jale, ‘Mruta Drama’, ‘Parasamani’, ‘Suryamandira’, ‘Sangram’, ‘Bhulihuena, ‘Khyama Karibeki’, ‘Setubandha’ and ‘Mukha Darpana’.
He won the Odisha Sahitya Akademi Award in 1967 for his book on one-act plays ‘Athaba Andhara’ .