Noted socialist leader and former Lok Sabha speaker Rabi Ray today died due to age-related ailments at SCB Medical College Hospital in Cuttack. He was 90. Ray is survived by his wife Saraswati Swain. The couple has no issue. He was hospitalised several days ago with age-related complaints, Ray’s close associate Chittaranjan Mohanty said.
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Born at Bhanragarh village in Khurda district of Odisha on November 26, 1926, Ray was the union minister of health and family welfare in the Morarji Desai ministry from January 1979 to January 1980 and the speaker of ninth Lok Sabha from 1989-1991. He was also a former chairman of Common Wealth Speakers’ Forum.
Mohanty said Ray’s body would be taken to Ravenshaw University and M S Law College in Cuttack, where he was the president of the students union. His body would be kept at Lohia Bhavan in Bhubaneswar for the people to pay their respects.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik condoled Ray’s death and described him as a veteran socialist leader.
“As an union minister and Lok Sabha Speaker, Ray had established a rich tradition in the conduct of the House. He worked with commitment for socialist ideas and moral values in life,” Patnaik said in a statement.
The Chief Minister also conveyed his deep sympathy to Ray’s wife and other members of the bereaved family.