Thursday, June 13, 2024

VK Pandian quits politics after Odisha debacle

Following Biju Janata Dal’s defeat in the recent polls, former bureaucrat and Naveen Patnaik’s close confidant V K Pandian Sunday announced he was withdrawing from politics.

“My intent of joining politics was only… only… to assist Naveen Babu, and now consciously I decide to withdraw myself from active politics. I am sorry if the campaign narrative against me has had a part to play with Biju Janata Dal’s loss. I apologise to the entire Biju Parivar, including all the karmis (workers) for this,” said Pandian, in a video message posted on his Instagram page.

Pandian said his decision to join the BJD was to “assist his mentor” Naveen Patnaik ahead of the “gruelling election.”

“My only intent was to help him as anyone would do for his mentor or family. I would like to set straight certain perceptions and narratives. Perhaps it has been my shortcoming that I have not been able to effectively counter some of these political narratives at the right time,” said Pandian.

Of the 147 seats in the Odisha Assembly, the BJP won 78, reducing the BJD to 51, down from the 113 seats it won in 2019. BJD also failed to win a single Lok Sabha seat.

During a poll rally, he said that he will quit politics if Naveen Patnaik does not take oath as CM on June 9.

Pandian who was considered the second-most powerful person in the party after Patnaik is a Tamil Nadu-born 2000-batch IAS officer.

Pandian had served as the private secretary to Naveen Patnaik in the chief minister’s office since 2011, took voluntary retirement from service in October last year. A month later, he joined the BJD.

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