Odisha 5T Secretary V K Pandian Takes Voluntary Retirement; What Will Be His Next Move?

Bhubaneswar: In a major development, senior Odisha cadre IAS officer and 5T Secretary V K Pandian has taken voluntary retirement from service, official sources said on Monday.

Pandian, whose whirlwind tours across the state over the last few months had triggered a controversy, had sought voluntary retirement from service and his request has been approved by the Central government.

The voluntary retirement of Pandian, a 2000 batch IAS officer, has been approved by the Union Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances & Pensions after the state government forwarded his request to the Centre.

“I am directed to convey the approval of the competent authority for acceptance of voluntary retirement of V Karthikeyan Pandian, IAS (OD-2000) under Rule 16 (2A) of the All India Services Rules, 1958 with the waiver of the notice period as recommended by the State Government,” said a letter from the Under Secretary to Government of India, Bhupinder Pal Singh to the Additional Chief Secretary of Odisha’s General Administration & PG Department.

As Pandian’s move sparked speculations about his possible entry into politics, political observers were of the opinion that by opting for voluntary retirement the much talked-about bureaucrat has sent out a clear signal about his next course of action.

“He (Pandian) will not only make an entry into active politics but will play a very significant role in the next elections,” said a political analyst on condition of anonymity.


Pandian, who has been in the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) since 2011, is considered a close confidante of Naveen Patnaik.

He had been in the eye of a storm with BJP and Congress terming his visits to different districts and holding meetings as unconstitutional. The Opposition parties maintained that the people’s elected representatives like ministers and MLAs are relegated to the background in the programmes of Pandian.

Pandian, who hails from Tamil Nadu, came under severe attack from the opposition for directly hearing grievances from the  the people at meetings on behalf of the Chief Minister. Opposition parties had been accusing him of undertaking political activities of the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD).

While some political observers felt that the bureaucrat may emerge as a potential successor of Naveen, others said it is too early to jump into such conclusion.

It may be noted here that several leaders, including BJP MP from Bhubaneswar Aparajita Sarangi  had stated that if Pandian wants to be in politics, he should resign from service. Now, it is to be seen what role Pandian is going to play in the state.


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