Pranab Prakash Das ‘Disciple Of Naveen’ Remark Stokes Speculation Of V K Pandian BJD Entry

Bhubaneswar: Speculation over chairman, 5T and Nabin Odisha, V K Pandian joining politics and getting a prominent role in BJD got fuelled following BJD organisational secretary Pranab Prakash Das describing the former bureaucrat as the ‘disciple’ of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at an ‘Ama Odisha Nabin Odisha’ programme in Jajpur on Saturday.

“What a son cannot do, a disciple can do. You are a disciple Mr Pandian and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for whatever you have done for the CM, Odisha, Jajpur and Jagannath Temple,” Das said to a cheering crowd.

Das added that Pandian has played a key role in translating the CM’s vision and thoughts into reality at the ground level. “I remember when you had told me that you were looking for a boss whose vision would be grounded and commitment would be grounded, and found that in the CM. You had also said that the day the CM would say, ‘Thank you, Mr Pandian’, you would shift to the village and work in the field,” he said.

This statement is being viewed as a precursor to Pandian entering the party fold.

Pandian, who took VRS from government service in October, has been touring different parts of the state since joining in his new position as Chairman of 5T (transformational initiatives), a Cabinet-rank post created for him by the state government.

Going by speculation, he is likely to join as the number two in BJD after Naveen Patnaik, who has been the president since the party in 1998.

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