VK Pandian retires from active politics after BJD’s humiliating loss


Bhubaneswar : VK Pandian, a close associate of former Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik, announced on Sunday that he is stepping away from active politics following the Biju Janata Dal’s devastating defeat in the state Assembly elections.
Pandian’s decision came days after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) registered a landslide victory in the polls and decimated the BJD, which ruled Odisha for over two and half decades, to just 51 seats in the 147-member Assembly and zero seats in the Loksabha.
Pandian’s Tamil origin became a focal point of the BJP’s campaign, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasizing that the BJP’s Chief Minister nominee would be a native Odia speaker born in Odisha. The BJP also alleged that if the BJD won again, Pandian would assume the role of Odisha CM, given Naveen Patnaik’s health concerns.
In a video message, Pandian apologized to BJD workers and leaders, stating, “My sole intention in joining politics was to support Naveen Babu, and now I have consciously decided to step back from active politics. I am sorry if I have hurt anyone during this journey. I regret if the campaign narrative against me contributed to the BJD’s loss.”
He continued, “I extend my heartfelt gratitude to the countless members of the Biju parivar with whom I am associated. Odisha will always remain at the core of my heart, and my guru Naveen Babu will be in my breath. I pray to Lord Jagannath for their prosperity.”

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