Bhubaneswar, Oct 27 (PTI) Though ex-IAS officer VK Pandian was yet to formally join the ruling BJD, opposition BJP MP Aparajita Sarangi on Friday said the former bureaucrat had made a "soft landing" in politics through voluntary retirement and appointment as chairman of 5T and Nabin Odisha scheme with a cabinet minister’s status.
Pandian was Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s private secretary before he announced his voluntary retirement on October 20.
"This is nothing but soft landing or easy route to politics by Pandian. After his retirement, Pandian has appointed himself as the chairman of the 5T initiative and Nabin Odisha scheme. He has hijacked both the government and the ruling BJD and secured a cabinet minister's status for himself," the Bhubaneswar MP said upon her arrival from Delhi.
"I have respect for CM Naveen Patnaik, but it is surprising that he has converted Odisha’s governance into a joke in the 23 years of rule. Why VRS was given to Pandian? Everybody knew that there was violation of service conduct rules and people of the state also expressed their resentment over his working style and the situation became such that he had to take VRS," the bureaucrat-turned-politician said.
Alleging that Patnaik has no control over governance, Sarangi said he (CM) and Pandian knew that action would be taken against the former bureaucrat by the Election Commission before the polls for being engaged in active politics while being in service.
"Therefore, Pandian opted for voluntary retirement out of compulsion," she alleged.
Justifying her claims, Sarangi said, "Pandian has hijacked the entire governance in Odisha. This was proved in his recent appointment as chairman of 5T and Nabin Odisha. People of Odisha are intelligent enough to understand what is going on." Stating that she feels "pity" for BJD workers and leaders who sacrificed a lot for the party over the years, Sarangi said, "A man came, gets self appointment and also a cabinet minister’s status while workers and leaders shed their sweat for the party over years. It is great injustice." Meanwhile, a communication from the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) said different service associations met 5T Chairman Pandian at Naveen Niwas and wished him on his new role.
The release said the service associations said he (Pandian) has spearheaded the transformation of the state by realising the vision of Patnaik.
Pandian on his part, thanked the association members for their support. "The government machinery under the leadership of Patnaik is committed to bring real transformation in every individual's life in the state," Pandian said.
The various associations that met Pandian include Odisha Secretariat Service Association, Odisha Secretariat PS & PA Service Association, Odisha Rajaswa Amala Sangha, Outsourcing Employees Federation, Odisha Government Contractual Employees Association, VAW Association, Kendupatra Karmachari Mahasangha, RBSK Ayush Doctors Association, Odisha HoD Ministerial Association, Government High School CBT Teachers Association, Govt High School NPS Teachers Association and ST & SC Lady Matron Association.
However, either the BJD or Pandian was yet to react over Sarangi’s remarks. PTI AAM AAM MNB