Former IAS Officer VK Pandian Joins Naveen Patnaik’s BJD In Odisha
VK Pandian, originally from Tamil Nadu, was a senior IAS officer in the Odisha cadre. He has just joined the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), which is led by Naveen Patnaik. The BJD has been governing Odisha for over two decades, and Naveen Patnaik, the Chief Minister, has been a dominant figure in the state’s politics.
Before his political debut, Pandian was highly regarded in the Odisha government. He recently opted for voluntary retirement from his civil services position. Immediately after this, Chief Minister Navin Patnaik granted him a cabinet minister rank. He is now the chairman of the “5T” and Nabin Odisha programs.
Pandian’s rise in Odisha’s political landscape is remarkable. He has been considered the right-hand man of CM Naveen Patnaik for more than a decade.
His journey began as a 2000 batch IAS officer and gained momentum in 2011 when he became the Private Secretary to CM Patnaik. His real prominence emerged after 2019 when he was appointed as the ‘5T secretary’.
The “5T” initiative, led by Pandian, focuses on transparency, transformation, teamwork, technology, and time management in government bodies.
He has played a key role in several projects like revamping high schools, restoring ancient temples, and implementing the Biju Swasthya Kalyan Yojana, a healthcare scheme offering free medical facilities to the public.
However, Pandian’s growing influence in the state’s administration while being a serving IAS officer raised concerns among the Opposition. They questioned why an IAS officer was assuming such a central role, often perceived as overshadowing elected MLAs and ministers.
Now, as Pandian has formally entered politics, there’s much speculation about his future. Many believe he might contest the 2024 elections, possibly aiming for a significant ministerial role or even the Chief Minister’s position in the long run.
VK Pandian, who used to work for the government, has now become involved in politics in Odisha. This has made people think about how it will affect the political situation in the state, especially because the BJD party, led by Naveen Patnaik, is very powerful there. People are curious to see what role Pandian will be given by the BJD party.