- Rabi Raj
Keonjhar: Motivated by the iconic Biju Patnaik, Badri Babu relinquished his 19-year-long profession to venture into politics, driven by a profound dedication to serving the people. The decision to leave his job, intricately tied to his livelihood, was undoubtedly a challenging one. However, Badri Narayan Patra’s unwavering commitment to his political role catapulted him to the pinnacle of popularity.
Commencing his political journey with a victory in the erstwhile Ramachandrapur Assembly constituency in 1990, he has weathered many political storms for over 33 years. Despite that, he has consistently emerged as the focal point of people’s trust and hope. Holding crucial ministries such as Science & Technology, Rural Development, and School and Mass Education, he has spearheaded the development of the Keonjhar district.
Through persistent efforts, numerous educational institutions have been established in the district. Boasting a well-constructed road network, water supply in both rural and urban areas, and comprehensive health infrastructure, the district has witnessed remarkable progress in minor, major, and lift irrigation facilities. Leveraging the District Mineral Development Fund, he has implemented various developmental initiatives, including the construction of CC roads, bridges, tree plantations, mini stadiums, and the refurbishment of PHCs and CHCs.
Numerous bridges spanning the Baitarani River and essential infrastructure, such as an indoor stadium and a new bus stand in the district headquarters, have materialized under his strong political willpower. His persistent advocacy at the government level led to the establishment of a medical college and hospital in the district. Even during the period from 2019 to 2023, when he was not in power, his commitment to the district’s people drove the pursuit of developmental goals.
His determined efforts also facilitated the redevelopment of the revered Goddess Tarini temple, a renowned pilgrimage site attracting devotees nationwide. Elected to the Assembly five times from 1990 to 2024, he achieved a record victory margin of 88 thousand votes in the 2014 election from the Ghasipura Assembly constituency.
Throughout these years, he has consistently endeavored to place the tribal-inhabited Keonjhar district on the state’s developmental map. Intellectuals unanimously assert that Badri Babu’s contributions to the overall progress of a backward district like Keonjhar are indelible, and his presence will forever remain irreplaceable.