Bhubaneswar: Odisha government on Tuesday paid rich tribute to APJ Abdul Kalam at a condolence meeting here at the state secretariat where Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Chief Secretary G C Pati and others mourned the passing away of the former President.
The chief minister and others offered floral tribute to the late President and participants, including members of the council of ministers, observed a two-minute silence.
Describing Kalam as the people's president, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said: "I am deeply shocked at the sad demise of the former President. He was one of the illustrious Presidents who was a visionary leader and a gifted scientist."
Stating that Kalam was one of the finest human beings of the time, Patnaik said the former President inspired and guided millions of children to follow their dreams and explore their inherent talent.
"He had a special relationship with Odisha and Biju Babu... He was always in the heart of the people of Odisha. Dr Kalam was a Karma Yogi in its truest meaning," Patnaik said.
The state government also declared a holiday today in schools, colleges and all other educational institutions in his memory.