VK Pandian IAS to Cabinet Minister: The political turmoil has intensified before the 2024 assembly elections in Odisha. The reason for this is that IAS officer VK Pandian, who was the secretary of the state Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for the last one and a half decade (12 years), was given the status of Cabinet Minister as soon as he took voluntary retirement (VRS). He will be the chairman of Naveen Patnaik’s ambitious transformational initiative 5T and will report directly to the Chief Minister.
After the government hastily given him this important post, the discussion about him becoming the next CM of the state has also intensified. In such a situation, let us tell you today who is this VK Pandian who, despite being an IAS officer, not only had a big stature in the government, but has now started emerging as a formidable face in the politics of the state.
Has been CM’s close friend for a long time
VK Pandian’s full name is V Karthikeya Pandian. He was born on 25 May 1974 in Tamil Nadu. He has been close to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for almost 23 years. It is not without reason that he is being called the successor of CM Patnaik, but Pandian, who was an IAS officer of Odisha cadre in the year 2000, had become the favorite of the Chief Minister as soon as he was posted.
In 2002, he was appointed Sub Collector of Dharamgarh in Kalahandi district. After that, in 2005, he became DM of Mayurbhanj district for the first time. After this, he was transferred to CM’s home district Ganjam in 2007. Since his posting in the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO) in 2011, he has been the private secretary to CM Naveen Patnaik.
Helicopter’s stormy tour remained in the headlines
Pandian has been the most influential officer in the government of Odisha. This can be gauged from the fact that in recent times, he had made such a stormy tour of the districts using the state helicopter, due to which he had come under the target of opposition parties. He was accused of violating the terms and conditions of administrative services.
Listed among CM’s trusted officers during his tenure as DM of Ganjam
In 2007, Pandian was made DM of Ganjam, which is the home district of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. Due to his excellent working style here, he became one of the trusted bureaucrats of the CM. From here, Pandian got direct posting in the Chief Minister’s Office in 2011, after which he has remained the private secretary of the CM.
Pandian has been the leader of the Chief Minister’s transformative schemes.
In 2019, when Naveen Patnaik became the Chief Minister of the state for the fifth time, he launched a welfare campaign named 5T for the overall development of Odisha, the command of which was handed over to his most important bureaucrat Pandian. He was made the Secretary of 5T and now he has been made the Cabinet Minister and has been given the responsibility directly. Since his appointment to the post of Secretary, Pandian made extensive use of helicopters to facilitate the people and listen to their complaints and held 190 meetings.
Was born in Tamil Nadu
According to the website of Odisha government, Pandian was born on 25 May 1974 in Tamil Nadu. Apart from English and Odia, he also speaks Tamil and Hindi well, which can prove helpful in ensuring inroads among the East Indians living in the state. It is being said that due to health reasons, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik may leave the post of CM at the time of 2024 elections. In such a situation, Pandian can be made his successor.
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