Patnaik’s close aide, Pandian quits politics after BJD’s electoral setback

“I consciously decide to withdraw from active politics. I apologise if I have hurt anyone on this journey. I am sorry if this campaign narrative against me has had a part to play in BJD’s loss. My apologies to the entire Biju Parivaar including all the ‘karmis’ for this,” Pandian stated, expressing regret for any role he may have played in the party’s electoral defeat.

| Updated: 09 June, 2024 7:24 pm IST
Former bureaucrat V.K. Pandian announced his withdrawal from active politics on Sunday.

NEW DELHI: Former bureaucrat V.K. Pandian announced his withdrawal from active politics on Sunday. Pandian, Odisha Ex Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s close aide, expressed his intention through a video message, citing his sole motive to assist Patnaik as the reason for his political foray.

“I consciously decide to withdraw from active politics. I apologise if I have hurt anyone on this journey. I am sorry if this campaign narrative against me has had a part to play in BJD’s loss. My apologies to the entire Biju Parivaar including all the ‘karmis’ for this,” Pandian stated, expressing regret for any role he may have played in the party’s electoral defeat.

Reflecting on his journey, Pandian highlighted his humble background and childhood dream of serving the people. He acknowledged the love and affection he received from the people of Odisha and attributed his entry into the political arena to his wife’s roots in Kendrapara.

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Pandian recounted his experiences working in the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) for over a decade, praising Naveen Patnaik’s leadership and vision for Odisha. He emphasised the successful implementation of various developmental initiatives under Patnaik’s guidance, including advancements in health, education, poverty reduction, and infrastructure.

“It was an honour to work for Naveen Patnaik. The experience and learning I had from him are for a lifetime. His grace, leadership, ethics, and above all, his love for the people of Odisha always inspired me,” the former IAS officer said.

 

 

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Addressing his role during the COVID-19 pandemic and cyclones, Pandian underscored his efforts to strengthen the state’s health infrastructure and ensure the safety of its citizens.

Clarifying his intentions in politics, Pandian reiterated his commitment to assisting Patnaik without seeking any political post for himself. He emphasised his modest lifestyle and reaffirmed his dedication to serving his mentor and the people of Odisha.

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“Till today, the only property I have is what I inherited from my grandparents. I or my immediate family have no other property anywhere in the world. My property statement when I joined the Indian Administrative Service remains the same as it is today after 24 years,” he said.

Pandian’s decision to exit politics comes amid criticism following BJD’s electoral setback, with the BJP securing 78 seats in the 178-member Odisha Assembly.

“I will always keep Odisha in the core of my heart and my Guru Naveen Babu in my breath and pray to Lord Jagannath for their well-being and prosperity,” Pandian said ending the video message.

However, outgoing Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik defended Pandian, praising his contributions and describing the criticism against him as unfortunate.

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