Maheswar Mohanty, a prominent lawyer and politician, passed away at the age of 67. He had a long and distinguished career in Odisha’s political landscape.
Mohanty, who served as a five-time Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) from Puri, played a significant role in the politics of Puri town for nearly three decades. He began his public service journey in 1975 as a councilor in the Puri municipality, later becoming the chairman of the civic body from 1985 to 1990. In 1995, he was elected as an MLA from Puri on a Janata Dal ticket.
Notably, Mohanty was elected as the speaker of the Odisha Legislative Assembly in May 2004, a position he held until March 2008. After that, he became a minister in 2012 and continued to serve in the Naveen Patnaik cabinet until May 2019 when he lost the elections to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Throughout his political career, he handled crucial portfolios, including panchayati raj, law, revenue and disaster management, planning and convergence, tourism, and culture.
Apart from his political career, Mohanty was also a lawyer by profession. He completed his LLB from Utkal University and obtained an MA in Political Science from Banaras Hindu University.
Mohanty’s passing received condolences from various quarters. BJP national vice president Baijayant Panda expressed his sorrow over the loss, referring to Mohanty as the former speaker of the Odisha Assembly and a senior politician. Mohanty had faced a life-threatening situation in February 2014 when he was attacked by miscreants, sustaining injuries to his hand and shoulder.