V K Pandian Continues As ‘5T’ With Cabinet Rank

Bhubaneswar: A day after the Centre approved his voluntary retirement, V K Pandian, the 2000-batch Odisha cadre IAS officer who served as private secretary to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, was on Tuesday appointed as Chairman 5T (Transformational Initiatives) and Ama Odisha, Nabin Odisha in the rank of Cabinet Minister.

Pandian will work directly under the Chief Minister, a notification issued by General Administration and Public Grievance Department said.

The former IAS officer had been wielding influence in Odisha’s corridors of power and came under opposition attack recently for his style of functioning, especially his whirlwind tour of the districts using the state chopper. The opposition BJP and Congress also accused Pandian of violating service rules.

There has been chatter over the probable entry of Pandian, considered Naveen Patnaik’s ‘Man Friday’, into politics for quite sometime and his retirement was widely expected.

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

Pandian started his career as the sub-collector of Dharmagarh in Kalahandi in 2002. He was appointed collector of Mayurbhanj in 2005, and then shifted to Ganjam in 2007. By May 2011, he was in Naveen’s office as his private secretary. and continued in the post, not once going for central deputation unlike his colleagues.

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