Bhubaneswar: Veteran Congress leader and ex-MP Sriballav Panigrahi passed away at a Bengaluru hospital on Thursday following a prolonged illness.
He was 74 and survived by wife and two sons.
Panigrahi, who was not keeping well for quite sometime, moved to Bengaluru last month and was undergoing treatment at a private hospital there for the last one week, his son Priyadarshi said over phone.
A multi-faceted personality and born into a freedom fighter's family at Bargaon in Sambalpur district, Panigrahi was elected to Lok Sabha thrice from Deogarh Parliamentary Constituency in 1984, 1991 and 1996.
Also elected to Odisha Assembly twice in 1971 and 1974 from Sambalpur segment, he was a cabinet minister in the state at a young age from 1973 to 1977. Panigrahi handled portfolios of Revenue, Irrigation and Power, Law, Education, Parliamentary Affairs, Food and Civil Supplies and Commerce.
Regarded as a straightforward politician, Panigrahi was known for oratory skills and austere and simple lifestyle.
Having joined Congress during his student days, Panigrahi had been in the party all through and held various positions.
As a Parliamentarian, he actively participated in house proceedings and was made Chairman of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Petroleum and Chemicals (1993 onwards) and also made member of various important committees.
Known for his close association with trade union activities, Panigrahi was member of INTUC's national working committee, President of Odisha Colliery Mazdoor Sangh (INTUC) Mahanadi Coalfields Ltd (MCL) Sambalpur, Odisha. He was also Vice President of Indian National Mineworkers Federation.
Associated with a number of educational and socio-cultural organisations, he also had a brief stint in journalism and was Editor of an Odia daily from 1982 to 1984.
Arrangements were being made to bring the mortal remains of Panigrahi for performing the last rites at his native place in Sambalpur, his son said.