Naveen Patnaik reviews poll loss as VK Pandian leaves for Delhi

Pandian has been absent from review meetings convened by the BJD supremo at Naveen Nivas for the last two days.
BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik addressing the party’s losing candidates
BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik addressing the party’s losing candidates Photo | Express

BHUBANESWAR: Even as BJD president Naveen Patnaik reviewed the party’s poll debacle for the second consecutive day on Thursday, bureaucrat-turned-politician and his trusted aide VK Pandian headed to New Delhi.

Pandian has been absent from review meetings convened by the BJD supremo at Naveen Nivas for the last two days. He has also not given any statement on the party’s poll debacle either. The former bureaucrat, who used to be by the side of Naveen at all times, is missing from party activities since the poll results were out.

Meanwhile, BJD national spokesperson and RS member Sasmit Patra clarified that Pandian has left for New Delhi on the direction of the party president for some work assigned by him. “All speculations about the BJD leader should be stopped. There is no rule or provision to inform the media about visits of leaders of political parties to any place."

After the review meeting, BJD’s organisational secretary Pranab Prakash Das said finding out reasons behind the defeat and putting the blame on any leader or issue was the internal affair of the party. He said Naveen was always the supreme leader of BJD and it is his prerogative to decide who will attend the meeting. “The BJD is being run on the direction of the party supremo always,” he asserted.

However, some leaders have started speaking openly about the reasons behind BJD’s debacle in the election. Former finance minister Sashi Bhusan Behera, who was denied ticket in this election, said senior leaders should have been entrusted with campaign activities during the polls. “If senior leaders were allowed to campaign, BJP would have failed to successfully push the ‘Odia Asmita’ issue."

He said Pandian should have played a role from the background. “Naveen Babu continues to be popular among women and youth. He is still my leader and I will continue to serve the BJD,” he said.

Prafulla Samal, another former minister who lost the election from Bhadrak Assembly seat, said for the last several months, the media was always stating that the party president cannot do anything without Pandian. “Now you can see, he can do everything without Pandian,” Behera added.

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