Ex-Odisha CM’s private secretary VK Pandian officially joins BJD

| Updated: 27 November, 2023 3:20 pm IST

NEW DELHI: Putting an end to days of speculation, VK Pandian, a former bureaucrat who previously served as the private secretary to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, officially became a member of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Monday. In a ceremony held at Naveen Niwas in Bhubaneswar, Pandian joined the party in the presence of Patnaik and other prominent BJD leaders.

Following his voluntary retirement, speculations circulated within the political circles of Odisha regarding the potential for Pandian to enter the political arena. The Ex-IAS officer VK Pandian, who served as the private secretary to CM Naveen Patnaik, had opted for voluntary retirement from government service last month in October.

Following VK Pandian’s voluntary retirement from the Indian Civil Services on October 23, the approval from the Centre allowed him to take on the position of the chairman of 5T (Transformational Initiatives) and ‘Nabin Odisha’ in the Odisha government. Pandian became a member of the party in the company of Patnaik and fellow BJD leaders at Naveen Niwas in Bhubaneswar.

Pandian’s inclusion in the BJD carries significance for the party as it prepares for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls next year. The party is actively reinforcing its organisational structures across different constituencies to uphold its successful track record in Odisha. Pandian, a 2000-batch IAS officer originally from Tamil Nadu, initiated his career as a sub-collector in Dharmagarh and subsequently served as a collector in various districts.

Having joined the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) in 2011, Pandian held the position of the Chief Minister’s private secretary for the past 12 years. During his tenure, he faced criticism from the Opposition for his roles as the 5T Secretary and Private Secretary to the Chief Minister, accused of engaging in political activities while in civil service.

The inclusion of Pandian in the BJD is of considerable importance for the party as it gears up for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls next year. To uphold its successful track record in Odisha, the party is actively reinforcing its organisational units in various constituencies. Pandian had previously participated in meetings across all districts of Odisha to assess developmental projects.

Earlier this year, Pandian attracted scrutiny for his extensive tours and participation in large public meetings across several districts of the state.

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