People call him Chanakya of Odisha Politics and the National Media described Pyarimohan Mohapatra as one of the smartest Political Strategists the State has ever produced.
Pyarimohan Mohapatra, fondly called as Pyari Babu, is no more. He breathed his last at Hinduja Hospital in Mumbai on 19, March, at 9.48 PM leaving behind his wife, two sons and two daughters.
His death has come as a shock for many young leaders who were picked from the trash.
An IAS officer of 1963 batch, superannuated from the service in 1998, but could not become Chief Secretary despite being one of the most efficient bureaucrats of the state.
He, however, was the Principal Secretary to the then Chief Minister Biju Patnaik.
Pyari Babu become very close to legendary Biju Patnaik for his frank and uprightness.
A Hardcore Brahmin from Angul District, Pyari Babu, hates compromise and believes in confrontation when it comes to the ideology.
He never learnt to bow down before any force and probably for that reason he failed to become the Chief Secretary of Odisha.
After his retirement from the service in 1998, Pyari Babu became active when Naveen Patnaik came to the Odisha’s political scene.
He was a like Rock Of Gibraltar for Naveen and protected Biju Patnaik’s younger son from all odds during his initial days.
In the process of protecting interest of Naveen Patnaik, the angry old-man of Odisha Politics as he is referred by many, invited criticism and become enemy of many powerful political personalities.
He was instrumental in removing Bijay Mohapatra, Dilip Ray, Ramakrishna Patnaik, Kamala Das, Nalini Kanta Mohanaty and many other senior leaders from BJD.
Later Bijay Mohapatra and Pyari Babu understood each other under which circumstances such actions were taken..
Pyari Babu was also had several names like “Super Chief Minister,” and “Second Power centre” of Odisha Government and the Governing BJD.
He is also often called “Uncle” as he is called by the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
While he loved controversy during his service period, he became equally controversial in politics also.
The people close to Pyari Babu often say that he loves controversy and never hesitate to cross swords with mighty and influential when it comes to the issues.
Hailing from a leftist background, Pyari Babu had suggested Biju Patnaik to forge an alliance with left parties in 1995 Assembly Polls.
However, Biju Babu ignored Pyari Babu’s advise and fought elections alone and lost the polls leaving space for J B Patnaik to capture power in 1995.
Pyari Babu was also instrumental who ensured that the BJD, a secular party, severe its nine-year old tie with the BJP in 2009in the backdrop of Kandhamal killing.
And single handedly Mr.Mohapatra advised and managed the 2009 general elections and brought victory for BJD.
So he turned very powerful and all the roads were leading to 111 Saheed Nagar, the residence of Mr.Mohapatra.
Politicians, Bureaucrats, Top Cops, Industrialists, Business Tycoons were making beeline for help and support, thanks to trust bestowed upon him by Naveen Patnaik.
However, he fell from the grace of Chief Minister Mr.Patnaik on 29 May, 2012, when Pyari was accused of attempting a coup.
Chief Minister Mr.Patnaik, who was away in London, rang him up but Pyari Babu retorted him back.
However the Principal Advisor was sacked and dubbed as “Beimaan”, which hurt Pyari Babu the most.
Pyari Babu is no more, but the people still remember his fighting spirit in both in Politics and Bureaucracy.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has condoled his demise.