Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik was greeted by President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President Venkaiah Naidu and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his birthday on Friday. The Biju Janata Dal chief and five-time Chief Minister of Odisha turned 75 today. Naveen Patnaik has decided not to celebrate his birthday in view of the COVID-19 situation in the state, a statement from the Chief Minister's Office said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his birthday wishes for the Odisha Chief Minister wrote on Twitter, "Birthday greetings to Odisha CM Shri Naveen PatnaikJi. Praying for his long and healthy life".
Birthday greetings to Odisha CM Shri Naveen Patnaik Ji. Praying for his long and healthy life. @Naveen_Odisha— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) October 16, 2020
Leaders cutting across party lines, including Union Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and others greeted Naveen Patnaik. Mr Patnaik's counterparts in Tripura, Nagaland and Madhya Pradesh also wished him.
Warm birthday wishes to the Chief Minister of Odisha, Shri @Naveen_Odisha ji. May almighty bless him with a long and healthy life.— Amit Shah (@AmitShah) October 16, 2020
The Chief Minister thanked PM Modi and Amit Shah on the microblogging site.
This is the third consecutive year Naveen Patnaik has decided not to celebrate his birthday and requested his supporters and leaders to avoid visiting his residence, Naveen Niwas. "I am always indebted to the love and good wishes of the people of Odisha," Mr Patnaik has been quoted by news agency Press Trust of India as saying.
The Chief Minister urged his supporters and party workers to help the needy and donate blood and plasma instead of celebrating his birthday. The people are passing through a difficult situation for the last eight months due to the pandemic, Mr Patnaik said.
This will be the third consecutive year the BJD chief will give his birthday celebrations a miss. He had chosen not to celebrate his birthday last year due to Cyclone Fani and in 2018 owing to Cyclone Titli. Both the storms had battered Odisha. Naveen Patnaik did not celebrate his birthday in 2016 as well as a mark of respect for the soldiers who died in the Uri terror attack.
Mr Patnaik had joined politics in 1997 after the death of his father and former Chief Minister Biju Patnaik. He took over as Chief Minister in 2000 and had since held the post.