Bhubaneswar: Bed Prakash Agarwal, veteran BJD leader and its candidate for Patkura assembly seat in Odisha for the ongoing elections died Saturday following protracted illness, his family sources said. He was 82. Agarwal, who was unwell for quite sometime and undergoing treatment at a private hospital here, breathed his last in the morning, they said. He is survived by wife, two daughters and a son. A host of dignitaries including Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik condoled his death. Describing Agarwal as an able organiser, Patnaik said his death was an irreparable loss. “His (Agarwal’s) organisational ability and dedication for the welfare of the public will be remembered for ever. He was also a close associate of Biju Babu (Biju Patnaik),” he said in his condolence message to the bereaved family. BJP national vice-president Baijayant Panda tweeted “Saddened to hear of the passing of Bed Prakash Agrawalji, former finance minister of Odisha, current MLA of Patkura in my Kendrapada (& again a BJD candidate now).” Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan too condoled the death. “Saddened by the news of senior leader Bed Prakash Agarwalla’s demise. I pray for the departed soul,” he said in a twitter post. Agarwal, a six time MLA, was a close confidante of the legendary Biju Patnaik and had been a minister in Odisha. He was the sitting MLA from Patkura assembly constituency, which he had won in 2014 election. BJD had fielded him from the seat once again in the politically sensitive Kendrapara district this time. Bijoy Mohapatra, who is the BJP candidate at Patkura against Agarwal, also expressed grief over the passing away of the veteran leader.