Bhubaneswar(Special Opinion)BJD leader and chairperson of Western Odisha Development Council (WODC) Subash Chauhan passed away Sunday morning at a private hospital in Bhubaneswar. The 54-year-old bachelor was undergoing treatment for liver cancer at a private hospital here since April 30.Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, several leaders from western Odisha and many from the saffron fold expressed their condolences at the untimely demise of the leader.Expressing deep grief, Patnaik said, “The contributions made by Chauhan for the welfare of the people will always be remembered by all in the state. Praying for peace for the departed soul, the chief minister in a message conveyed his condolences to the bereaved family.”Union Minister of State for MSME Pratap Sarangi described Chauhan as a kind-hearted and friendly leader who devoted his life to selfless service of the people.Describing Chauhan’s demise as a huge loss for Odisha, state Transport Minister Padmanabha Behera said, “We are deeply saddened by his untimely demise. He was a great organiser and leader.”The untimely death of Chauhan is a great loss to the state of Odisha, leader of opposition in Odisha Assembly, Pradipta Naik said.Chauhan was appointed chairperson of WODC in September last year after joining BJD in the run-up to 2019 general elections.Prior to joining BJD, he was associated with several Sangh Parivar organizations in various capacities. He contested 2014 general election from Bargarh Lok Sabha constituency on BJP ticket and lost on a narrow margin to the BJD candidate. This apart, he was also associated with RSS, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and Bajrang Dal for a long time.Well-known as a soft-spoken person with excellent organisational skills, Chauhan served as the national convenor of Bajrang Dal between 2010 and 2012, RSS prachar pramukh for Odisha between 2000 and 2003 and state president of Hindu Jagran Manch between 1995 and 2000.Chauhan quit the saffron fold after accusing BJP of sidelining him. Despite being given assurances, BJD had denied him a Lok Sabha ticket in 2019 polls, he had alleged. Shortly after quitting BJP, he joined BJD but did not contest polls. He was later made the chairman of Western Odisha Development Council as he was popular in western area of the state.