Veteran Socialist and former Lok Sabha Speaker Rabi Ray passed away today at SCB Medical College Hospital in Cuttack.
He was suffering a lot for quite some time due to age related ailments.
Mr.Ray (90) is survived by his wife and leading social activist Saraswati Swain. The couple has no issue.
Born at Bhanaragarh village in Khurda district of Odisha on November 26, 1926, Ray was the Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare in the Morarji Desai Ministry from January 1979 to January 1980 and the Speaker of ninth Lok Sabha from 1989-1991. He was also a former Chairman of Common Wealth Nation’s Speakers’ Forum.
Mr.Ray's body was be taken to Ravenshaw University and M S Law College in Cuttack, where he was the President of the Students Union.
His body would be kept at Lohia Bhavan in Bhubaneswar for the people to pay their last respect.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi condoled his demise and tweeted that he is saddened by Mr.Ray's death.
Mr.Modi said that the former Speaker of Lok Sabha made a mark as a committed leader and respected Parliamentarian.
Speaker of Odisha Legislative Assembly Niranjan Pujari condoled the death of Mr.Ray.
Mr.Pujari said, “The late leader did not compromise on values in democracy. His Tenure as Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha were undisputed.”
The Speaker said, as an impartial Speaker of Lok Sabha Rabi Ray created an example for others to follow.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik condoled Mr.Ray's death and described him as a veteran socialist leader.
"As an Union Minister and Lok Sabha Speaker, Mr.Ray had established a rich tradition in the conduct of the House. He worked with commitment for socialist ideas and moral values in life," Mr.Patnaik said issuing a statement.
The Chief Minister also conveyed his grief and condolences to Shrimati Swain and other members of the bereaved family.
Governor Dr SC Jamir, Union Minister Jual Oram, Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, State Cabinet Ministers, MPs, MLAs and a host of prominent personalities, including leaders of political parties, while condoling the death also conveyed his deep sympathy to Ray's wife and other members of the bereaved family.
The Governor in his message said the late leader commanded respect from every one for his impartial nature.
“People from all walks of life loved Rabi Ray for his qualities and humane approach,” the Governor added.
Mr.Pradhan described the late leader as ‘National Property and said, “His death has created a void in politics”, in his tweet.
Congress Veteran Niranjan Patnaik said the death of Mr.Ray has left a void difficult to fill. “He was a bright example of Gandhian thought,” Patnaik said.
BJP Veteran Biswabhusan Harichandan, Biju Acolyte Surendra Nath Nayak and others condoled his demise.
Utkal Gandhi Smarak Nidhi President Prahallad Sinha recalled the role of Mr.Ray as Speaker of the Lok Sabha and said he has set an example for others to follow.
Mr.Sinha had worked with the Gandhian leader for a long time and was remembering his pursuit to cleanse the political system with honesty and integrity.