Rajya Sabha MP and renowned sculptor Raghunath Mohapatra passed away on Sunday due to COVID-19. He was 78.
On April 22, he was admitted to AIIMS Bhubaneswar for treatment after being diagnosed with COVID-19. Despite all valiant efforts by the doctors, Mohapatra lost the battle and died at 3.49 pm, Dr Gitanjali Batmanabane, Director, AIIMS Bhubaneswar, said.
Mohapatra was awarded Padma Shri in 1975 and Padma Bhushan in 2001. He was also awarded Padma Vibhushan in 2013.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Ram Nath Kovind, Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, and many others expressed grief over Mohapatra's demise.
PM Modi said he will be remembered for his contributions towards traditional crafts. "Saddened by the demise of MP Shri Raghunath Mohapatra Ji. He made pioneering contributions to the world of art, architecture and culture. He will be remembered for his contributions towards popularising traditional crafts. My thoughts are with his family and admirers. Om Shanti," PM Modi tweeted.
President Kovind said the field of art has become poorer due to Mohapatra's passing. "A very talented sculptor of traditional forms, he was honoured with all the three Padma awards. His absence is an irreparable loss. My condolences to his family, friends and followers," he added.
"Anguished to learn about the passing away of Shri Raghunath Mohapatra, Member of Rajya Sabha and noted sculptor. My deepest condolences to his family and admirers in this hour of grief. Om Shanti," wrote M. Venkaiah Naidu.
The Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik also mourned the death of Mohapatra. "I am saddened to learn of the passing away of Raghunath Mohapatra, an internationally renowned artist and MP. He will always be remembered for his invaluable contribution to the enrichment of the Art and Heritage of Odisha. I extend my condolences to the bereaved family members and wish them well," Patnaik tweeted in Odia.
Here is how other politicians reacted after Mohapatra's demise: