Odisha’s first tribal chief minister as well as last Congress chief minister of the state, Hemananda Biswal passed away. He was 82. Biswal, a Bhuyan tribal from Jharsuguda district, served as the chief minister twice from 1989 to 1990 and 1999 to 2000. In December 1999, he was again made chief minister after erstwhile chief minister Giridhari Gamang was replaced over his failure in relief and rehabilitation measures in the aftermath of the 1999 super cyclone that ripped through the Odisha coast.
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Biswal began his political journey as a chairman of Kirimira panchayat Samiti in the Jharsuguda district. He was elected to the Odisha assembly for the first time in 1974 from Laikera constituency. He was elected to the assembly as MLA six times from the same seat. In 2009 he was elected as an MP from Sundargarh.