Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today welcomed the legendary Dakota aircraft of former CM Biju Patnaik and showered flowers on the aircraft at the Bhubaneswar Airport.
While speaking to the media persons he also expressed his happiness over the arrival of Dakota aircraft in Odisha. “I am delighted that this legendary aircraft used by Biju Babu during his many historic exploits has finally returned to Odisha. The greatest exploit was when he flew to Indonesia. And the only person in the aircraft was my mother, who was also his co-pilot,” he said.
“He (Biju Patnaik) also went to Nepal, China and Japan during the Second World War. I am extremely delighted that the historical aircraft has come to the homeland of Biju Babu,” he added.
Likewise, 5T Secretary VK Pandian took to his Instagram and shared a post regarding the Dakota aircraft, to which he termed as a part of Biju Patnaik.
“A part of Biju babu returned today..odisha celebrates it’s legendary son who is immortalized by the love for his people his state and his country. Biju Babu is an idea in continuity. ,an idea of realising the breadth of human aspirations, an idea of Odia self esteem, self less service and empowerment.
An idea that was much ahead of his time- that will live for ever and continue to inspire generations to come. Biju Babu transcends the ordinary boundaries of definitions,” he wrote.
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It is to be noted here that Dakota aircraft was kept at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International (NSCBI) Airport in Kolkata. However, after the Odisha government decided to bring it to the State, a technical team dismantled it, and was brought by road in three trailer trucks to Bhubaneswar.
The legendary statesman had used Dakota to rescue former Indonesian Vice-President Muhammad Hatta and Prime Minister Sutan Sjahrir from their enemies in 1947. His acumen as a pilot was recognised by the government of Indonesia, which honoured him with the title of ‘Bhumi Putra’.