VK Pandian is not my successor: Odisha CM Patnaik sets record straight

Patnaik dispelled rumors about Pandian's political ambitions, emphasizing that Pandian is not standing for elections and is not being prepared to take over his role.

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Courtesy: ANI

Amid growing political tension, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has addressed rumors regarding his aide, VK Pandian, clarifying that Pandian is not being groomed as his successor. This clarification comes in response to the BJP's increasing criticism of Pandian's perceived influence over state matters.

In a recent interview, Patnaik dispelled rumors about Pandian's political ambitions, emphasizing that Pandian is not standing for elections and is not being prepared to take over his role. Patnaik stressed that the decision about his successor would ultimately lie with the people of Odisha, underscoring the democratic process at play.

Responding to BJP's allegations

The BJP has been vocal in its criticism, particularly pointing out that an individual from Tamil Nadu, like Pandian, should not be making decisions for the Odia people. Prime Minister Narendra Modi hinted at a possible conspiracy related to Patnaik's health, suggesting that an influential lobby might be manipulating the situation. Though Modi did not directly name Pandian, the implication was clear to many observers.

Pandian's position

V.K. Pandian, who has served as Patnaik’s private secretary since 2011, has consistently denied any political aspirations. He has expressed that he focuses on his day-to-day duties without long-term political goals, valuing his role as a bureaucrat under Patnaik's guidance. Pandian has often referred to Patnaik as a mentor, showing deep respect for his leadership and values.

Here's what he said:

Future political support

Regarding the BJD's future stance on providing support to the BJP, Patnaik maintained that any support would be based on specific issues and judged accordingly. He emphasized the importance of maintaining a non-acrimonious approach in public life.

What's next?

Despite the current political challenges, Patnaik remains confident about the future elections. He anticipates forming a solid government in Odisha and achieving a significant majority in Parliament. Patnaik also hopes to continue serving as Chief Minister for another term, focusing on the state's progress and development.