Odisha: BJP demands expulsion of 5T Chairman VK Pandian for his active role in politics

Odisha Politics

Bhubaneswar, April 4: The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday demanded immediate expulsion of V Karthikeyan Pandian as Odisha 5T chairman.

The acronym 5T stands for Teamwork, Transparency, Technology, Time, and Transformation.

The government has introduced it as a governance model with an aim of improving administrative efficiency and ensuring efficient delivery of public services.

Pandian, a Tamil Nadu-born IAS officer is known for his proximity to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. He is also seen in political circles as the CM’s successor. After he took voluntary retirement from his bureaucratic assignment, he was appointed at 5T mission chairperson and accorded a Cabinet minister’s rank. A few days later, he joined the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) as its member.

As per the Odisha state BJP unit, Pandian has been enlisted as the number one officer on the website of the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO). However, he is participating in all the party meetings, distributing tickets among the candidates and managing the party affairs.

The saffron party questioned whether Pandian is a BJD leader or an officer. The party has sought clarification from the state government whether BJD leader Pandian can remain in the list of the officers when the model code of conduct for the upcoming 2024 general elections has already been announced.

The party has also sought an answer from the chief secretary in this regard.

“We are utterly surprised that V Karthikeyan Pandian’s name is still there in the list of officers on the CMO website. When he is still in the officers’ list, will he be able to take part in BJD’s meetings, distribute tickets among the candidates and manage the party affairs as the model code of conduct is effective?” BJP spokesperson Anil Biswal questioned.

“Under similar circumstances, an emergency was announced in the country. Same kind of situation has happened in Odisha. I feel the election of CM Naveen Patnaik and BJD will be challenged in the court in future. We request the chief secretary of Odisha for immediate expulsion of the 5T chairman,” he added.

No comment in response to the BJP’s allegations could be obtained from the ruling BJD.

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