Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday extended birthday greetings to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on his 73rd birthday.
Many other leaders cutting across political affiliations, including West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Union ministers-Dharmendra Pradhan and Pratap Sarangi-wished Naveen Patnaik on the occasion.
Though Naveen Patnaik refrained from celebrating his birthday as a mark of solidarity with the victims of cyclone Fani in the state, the social media platforms were flooded with the greetings for him.
Fani, which hit the coast at Puri on May 3, had claimed the lives of at least 64 people besides causing severe damage to power, telecom and other infrastructure in vast areas including state capital Bhubaneswar.
"Greetings to Odisha's CM Shri Naveen Patnaik Ji on his birthday. May he be blessed with long and healthy life," the prime minister wrote on Twitter.
Naveen Patnaik was born to legendary leader Biju Patnaik and Gyan Patnaik on October 16, 1946 in Cuttack. Sprint queen Dutee Chand and many others took to twitter to extend warm wishes to the cm, who is the younger son of Biju Patnaik.
The TMC supremo twitted her greetings both in English and Bangla.
"Birthday greetings to Naveen babu. Wishing you good health and happiness," Banerjee said in her twitter post.
Manipur chief minister N. Biren Singh also extended greetings to his Odisha counterpart.
Pradhan in his Odia twitter post said: "Greetings to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on his birthday. Let Lord Jagannath bless you with long and healthy life."
Similarly, Pratap Sarangi also expressed good wishes to Naveen Patnaik and offered his prayer to lord Jagannath. Sand artiste Sudarshan Patnaik created a sand art at Puri beach to greet the chief minister.
"Wishing a very happy birthday to Hon'ble CM Naveen Patnaik sir. May lord Jagannath bless u with good health and long life. My sand art at #Puri beach," Sudarshan said in his twitter post tagging a picture of his sand art work where he termed the chief minister as "Architect of Modern Odisha."
As Naveen Patnaik had announced that he would not celebrate a birthday, his regional party- Biju Janata Dal (BJD)- organised statewide blood donation camps to mark the day. Altogether 60 such camps were held by the BJD across the state.
The chief minister himself inaugurated a camp in the state capital Bhubaneswar. He gave a rose and a certificate under Jeevan Bindu, a voluntary blood donation programme of the state, to every donar.
"I am happy that youths are coming forward to donate blood on my birthday," he told media persons.
Though he spent most of his life outside Odisha till 52 years, Naveen Patnaik came to the state and entered into politics after demise of his father in 1997. He is on cm chair continuously since March 2000.
He has created a record in the state politics by becoming cm for five times in a row.
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