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Published Nov 27, 2023 at 6:59 PM IST

VK Pandian: Naveen Patnaik's aide to be his No. 2?

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s close aide and former IAS officer VK Pandian joined the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on November 27 in the presence of Patnaik and other senior party leaders at Naveen Niwas. The move was expected since VK Pandian had opted for a voluntary retirement in October 2023. He was given a cabinet minister rank in the state government at that time. The BJD's decision to induct Pandian into the party fold on Kartik Purnima, considered to be the auspicious day in Odisha, holds huge political significance. Though the role and position which Pandian, who wielded huge influence in Odisha’s corridor of power, is yet to be clear, BJD insiders said his role will be crucial for designing the party’s campaign plan and candidate selection ahead of the forthcoming Assembly and general elections due in April-May next year.

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