V.K. Pandian, Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik’s close aide, quits active politics after BJD’s debacle in elections

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik with V.K. Pandian. V.K. Pandian has decided to quit active politics following the party’s defeat in the Odisha Assemble Elections. 
| Photo Credit: ANI

In a setback to the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), bureaucrat-turned-politician V.K. Pandian and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s close aide has decided to quit active politics following the party’s defeat in the Lok Sabha and Odisha Assembly Elections.

“…Now consciously I decide to withdraw myself from active politics. I am sorry 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,” the BJD leader said in a video message on June 9.

Mr. Pandian said his only intention to join politics was to assist Mr. Patnaik and that is why he did not contest the elections.

He said, “I will always keep Odisha in core of my heart and my Guru Naveen Babu in my breath.”

V.K. Pandian quits active politics
| Video Credit:
Special Arrangement

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which secured 78 seats in the 178-member Odisha Assembly, stunned the BJD which could only secure 51 seats. The BJP also swept 20 out of 21 seats in the State in the Lok Sabha elections.

Mr. Pandian has been under fire for the party’s defeat in the elections. Outgoing Chief Minister and party chief Naveen Patnaik came to the defence of his close aide, calling the criticism unfortunate.

“It has also come to my notice about some criticism of Mr. Pandian. This is unfortunate. As an officer he did excellent job in many fields, helping in two major cyclones and COVID-19 epidemic in our State in past 10 years,” said the BJD chief.

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