Lok Sabha ex-Speaker Rabi Ray passes away

Bhubaneswar, March 6 (IANS) Former Lok Sabha Speaker Rabi Ray on Monday passed away following prolonged illness, family sources said. He was 91.

Suffering from age-related illnesses, Ray was admitted to SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack after his health deteriorated on February 12.

Born on November 26, 1926, in Bhanagarh village in Puri district of Odisha, Ray joined national politics due to the inspirational leadership of Dr Rammanohar Lohia.

Ray was elected to the 4th Lok Sabha from Puri in Odisha in 1967.

Prime Minister Morarji Desai inducted Ray into his Cabinet as Minister for Health and Family Welfare in January 1979 and Ray continued in that post till January 1980.

In 1989, he was re-elected to the 9th Lok Sabha from the Kendrapara constituency in Odisha as a Janata Dal candidate.

On December 19, 1989, he was unanimously elected as Speaker of the 9th Lok Sabha. In 1991, he was re-elected to the 10th Lok Sabha from the same constituency.

He graduated in history from Ravenshaw College and later studied law in Madhusudan Law College, Cuttack.

Governor S.C. Jamir, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram and other political leaders mourned Ray’s death.