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Naveen Patnaik's close aide VK Pandian quits active politics

IANS | Updated on Sunday, June 09, 2024 17:35 PM IST

Bhubaneswar: In a significant development in Odisha politics, former bureaucrat V.K. Pandian, the close aide of outgoing chief minister Naveen Patnaik, on Sunday apologised to the workers of Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and announced his withdrawal from active politics.

Pandian had earlier announced during the election campaign that he would leave politics if Patnaik failed to become the CM for the sixth term.

"Resentment was brewing among the workers as well as senior leaders of the BJD following the party's humiliating defeat in the recently concluded elections.

"My intent of joining politics was only to assist Naveen Babu and now consciously I decide to withdraw myself from active politics. I am sorry if I have hurt anyone during this journey. I am sorry if this campaign narrative against me has had a part to play in Biju Janata Dal's loss. I apologise to the entire Biju Parivar including all the workers for this," announced Pandian in a video message.

Pandian said that it has been a shortcoming on part of him for failing to effectively counter some of the political narratives against him at the right time. He also stated that his only intent was to assist his mentor, Naveen Patnaik and had no desire to acquire any political post or power.

"For the last 12 years, I have tried to work from early in the morning till midnight, keeping Naveen babu and Odisha as my focus. Till today, the only property I have is what I inherited from my grandparents. I or my immediate family have no other properties anywhere in the world. My property statement when I joined the Indian Administrative Service remains the same even today after 24 years," Pandian added.

The Tamil Nadu-born former Odisha cadre IAS officer, after working as the private secretary of Naveen Patnaik for 12 years, took voluntary retirement on October 23 last year.

He entered active politics after formally joining the BJD on November 27.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) succeeded in wresting power from Naveen Patnaik through an aggressive poll campaign that was mostly centered around "Tamil V.K. Pandian".

The party managed to convince the voters that the Odia self-identity, culture, language and literature would be under threat in the face of the taking over of the reins by Pandian.


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