VK Pandian is not my successor, says Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik

BJP questions why was Naveen silent as Odia ministers, MLAs worked as slaves and traffic police for Pandian?

BHUBANESWAR: Clearing the air on the gossips in the power corridors that Tamil Nadu-born bureaucrat-turned politician V Karthikeyan Pandian might succeed him, Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday said that Pandian is not his successor.

In an exclusive interview with news wire service ANI, the Odisha CM said that Pandian is not his successor and that the people of Odisha will decide about his successor.

On Prime Minister Narendra Modi raising concerns about his health condition, CM Naveen said, "If he (PM Modi) is so concerned about my health, he should have called me up and asked me about my health."

On BJD prospects in Odisha in the ongoing general elections 2024, the CM said that his party would get a handsome figure and form government in Odisha and also win a good number of Lok Sabha seats.

On allegations by the opposition and former BJD leaders that 'V Karthikeyan Pandian takes decisions on behalf of CM Patnaik', CM Naveen said, "This is ridiculous and I have said it often before, this is an old allegation and it holds no weight."

The CM did not throw light on why only Pandian was always seen with him these days and during election campaigns.

The Opposition has been alleging that Pandian has held CM Naveen hostage and no BJD leader or government officials are allowed to meet Naveen Patnaik without prior approval of the bureaucrat-turned-politician.

In response to Patnaik’s statement on Pandian, BJP spokesperson Anil Biswal said, “If Pandian is not the successor of the CM, why Patnaik is contesting from Kantabanji too?”

“The CM has lied again. As he is going to lose the election, he intensified the conspiracy further by telling lies again. If VK Pandian is not CM’s successor, why was all the power given to him? Why did he kill democracy in Odisha by initiating an unconstitutional provision named 5T (Teamwork, Transparency, Technology, Time, and Transformation)? On whose interest, Pandian was only instated at the helm of the affairs in 5T? If Naveen Babu really wants the people to choose their successor, he should answer whether the people of Odisha had asked him to give Pandian all the power?” Biswal asked.

“Why was Naveen Babu silent when the Odia ministers and MLAs had turned slaves and traffic police for VK Pandian? If Naveen Babu really believes in democracy, why was all the power given to only one person? If Naveen Babu respects the emotions of the Odia people, why didn’t even a single Odia become eligible for campaigning? Why is no Odia leader able to make entry into Naveen Niwas without permission from Pandian?” the saffron party leader further asked.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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