BJD leader Pandian's IAS wife goes on six months' leave

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BJD leader VK Pandian at an interview with PTI, in Bhubaneswar, Monday, May 20, 2024

BJD leader VK Pandian (File photo)

Bhubaneswar: BJD leader V K Pandian’s wife and Odisha IAS officer Sujata R Karthikeyan has proceeded on a six months’ 'child care leave' from May 31, official sources said.

According to a notification issued by the general administration department, the IAS officer has been granted leave till November 26 to care for her daughter, who is appearing for the class 10 exams.

The 2000-batch Odisha cadre officer Sujata went on leave almost a month after she was removed from the post of secretary, Mission Shakti, and appointed as special secretary, finance department, following an instruction from the Election Commission.

The EC's decision to transfer her to a non-public dealing department stemmed from allegations by BJP central leaders, accusing her of active involvement in supporting the ruling BJD in the state.

Pandian had joined politics after taking voluntary retirement from All India Civil Services in October 2023.

In the recently held Lok Sabha and Assembly elections in the state, the regional party faced an electoral debacle as the BJP won 78 of the 147 seats in the assembly. The BJD, led by Naveen Patnaik, managed to secure 51 seats in the assembly, with the Congress winning 14 seats, Independents 3 and CPI (M) one. The BJD also failed to open its account in the Lok Sabha elections.

After BJD’s debacle, two retired IAS officers, R Balakrishnan and Suresh Mohapatra, resigned from their posts in the Chief Minister’s Office.