Former bureaucrat VK Pandian joins Odisha’s ruling Biju Janata Dal
A close aide to chief minister Naveen Patnaik for over a decade, Pandian took voluntary retirement from the IAS and was given the rank of a Cabinet minister
Former bureaucrat VK Pandian, 49, on Monday joined Odisha’s ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) over a month after resigning as an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer. A close aide to chief minister Naveen Patnaik for over a decade, Pandian took voluntary retirement from the IAS and was given the rank of a Cabinet minister. He was also made chairman of the state government’s 5T (good governance) initiative.
The Tamil Nadu-born former bureaucrat joined the BJD in the presence of Patnaik and other top leaders.
BJD member of Parliament Pinaki Mishra said Pandian joined the BJD with the blessings of Patnaik. “Pandian was advised by Patnaik to work for the state and the party as he worked with him for the last 13-14 years. The chief minister hoped that Pandian would bring success to the party as he did for the administration. He also said that Pandian’s administrative and political experience will be a great asset for the party,” said Mishra.
Pandian was felicitated at the BJD office before he left for Ganjam, where he served as district collector before joining the chief minister’s office as the private secretary to Patnaik in 2011.
A Punjab cadre IAS, Pandian opted for the Odisha cadre after marrying his batch mate Sujata Rout. In May 2012, Pandian earned Patnaik’s trust when the chief minister faced political advisor Pyarimohan Mohapatra’s revolt. The rebellion was quelled with Pandian playing his part.
Pandian began the year 2023 by visiting all the 30 districts of the state.