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Last rites of veteran BJD leader Sugnana Deo performed in Odisha

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Berhampur (Odisha), Feb 11 (PTI) The last rites of veteran Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader and 10-time MLA V Sugnana Kumari Deo were performed at Khallikote in Odisha’s Ganjam district on Sunday.

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A large number of people joined Deo's funeral procession, who passed away in a private hospital in Chennai on Friday night. She was 86.

Her body was taken in a decorated vehicle to the cremation ground of the royal family in the town amidst the chanting of the ‘Rani Maa Amar Rahe...’ and hundreds of mourners with tears in their eyes bid adieu to their leader.

Shops and business establishments in Khallikote town had remained shut for the past two days following her death.Sugnana was elected eight times from Khalliote assembly constituency and two times from Kabisurya Nagar segment of Ganjam district.

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She was first elected to the state assembly in a by-election held at Khallikote in 1963.

Sugnana's body was consigned to the flames after a guard of honour.

Kuresh Chandra Acharya of Shyamsundar Pur, a Brahmin of the royal family, performed the last rites as per the tradition.

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State finance minister Bikram Keshari Arukha, several MLAs, MPs and leaders of the ruling party were present on the occasion.

“Even though she belonged to a royal family, Sugnana Kumari Deo served the people for 60 years as a common citizen. She was an inspiration for all of us,” Arukha said.

Her body reached Bhubaneswar from Chennai on Saturday evening.

After her mortal remains arrived in Khallikote town from Bhubaneswar on Saturday night, grieving supporters made a beeline for her residence to bid final adieu to their beloved leader, who was well-known as “Rani Saheba” in Ganjam district. PTI COR BBM SBN

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