Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik Dismisses VK Pandian As Political Successor Amid Speculations

Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik Dismisses VK Pandian As Political Successor Amid Speculations

New Delhi: Naveen Patnaik, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) president and Odisha Chief Minister, dispelled speculations about his close aide VK Pandian being his political successor. In an interview with news agency ANI, Patnaik stated unequivocally, “He is not my successor. I see all of this as exaggeration and falsehood.”

CM Patnaik further clarified that VK Pandian is not contesting either the Lok Sabha or state Assembly elections, underlining that there is no basis for such assumptions.

In response to inquiries about succession within the BJD, CM Naveen Patnaik, the party’s founder, reiterated that the people of Odisha will ultimately determine the successor. 

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“I have said this repeatedly, the successor (of the party) will be decided by the people of the state. That is the natural result of these things,” Naveen Patnaik said.

“The party is being run for the service of the people of Odisha and will continue to do so,” he added.

Meanwhile, VK Pandian, a former bureaucrat, transitioned into politics by joining the BJD after a distinguished career. Having served as Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s private secretary for 12 years, Pandian now spearheads key transformative initiatives as Chairman of 5T (Transformational Initiatives) and ‘Nabin Odisha’ in the Odisha government.

In an interview with India Today TV, VK Pandian reflected on the public perception of him, noting that many view him as an extension of Naveen Patnaik’s dedication to work.

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“People see me as, maybe, Naveen Babu’s workhorse. Naveen Babu is known for his work and people see a little bit of reflection of his work in me. People see that this guy is working for Naveen Babu and he is doing sincere work,” Pandian remarked.

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