.........BHUBANESWAR:Three time Congress MLA Subal Sahu, who had been ailing from cancer for several months, passed away at a private hospital here on Tuesday.
When the Congress base was shrinking all over Odisha, Subal Sahu (56) won from Bijepur constituency three consecutive times defying the supremacy of the ruling BJD. He entered the Assembly in 2004 and followed it with victories over BJD rivals in 2009 and 2014 elections.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik visited the private hospital to pay homage to the departed Congress leader. Condoling the death, he said Subal Sahu proved his popularity by winning from the Bijepur constituency three succesive times.Vice-president of All India Congress Committee Rahul Gandhi also condoled the death of Sahu. "Very sad to learn about the sad demise of senior Congress leader of Odisha and three term MLA Subal Sahu ji, my condolences to his family," Gandhi said in his tweet. Gandhi spoke to his son Sourav Sahu over telephone and expressed solidarity with his family and supporters.
Expressing grief over Subal Sahu's death, Union Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan said, his death at a such a young age is a great loss for Odisha.
Leader of Opposition, Narasingh Mishra, also condoled the death saying, "Deeply saddened by Subal Babu's untimely demise. It is a personal loss and my thoughts are with his grieving family," Mishra said in a tweet.
BJD MP Baijayant Panda said, “Shocked to hear his sudden passing. He used to refer to me fondly as his area’s nephew. May his soul rest in peace… Om Shanti,” Panda tweeted.
Speaker Pradip Amat, Leader of the Opposition, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Bikram Keshari Arukha, Housing and Urban Development Minister Niranjan Pujari, Deputy Government Chief Chip Rohit Pujari, several MLAs, Assembly secretary Amiya Kumar Sarangi and other employees offered deep condolences after Sahu's body reached Assembly premises.
A condolence meeting organised at Congress Bhavan was attended by Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee president Prasad Harichandan and other senior leaders. Leader cut across partylines, including BJD Rajya Sabha MP Prasanna Acharya, senior BJP leader Dilip Ray and condoled Subal’s demise.