Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s Private Secretary V. Karthikeya Pandian IAS from Tamil Nadu has taken voluntary retirement from his service. The central government has approved his retirement.
V. Karthikeya Pandian hails from Vellore district of Tamil Nadu and is a 2000 batch Odisha cadre IAS officer. In 2002, he was appointed as Deputy Collector in Kalahandi district of the state. Later he worked as a collector in various districts. He has been Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s private secretary and right-hand man since 2011.
Karthikeya Pandyan is the second most influential figure in the Odisha government and among the ruling Biju Janata Dal cadres next to Naveen Patnaik. Last Oct. He had applied for voluntary retirement on the 20th, and yesterday (October 23) the central government approved it.
He is said to have taken voluntary retirement on Patnaik’s advice and will soon enter full-time politics. Many believe that he may also contest next year’s Odisha assembly elections and may be given a key role in the Biju Janata Dal. Notably, Pandian was only the third person to meet Naveen Patnaik, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar recently.
Commenting on Pandyan’s retirement, Congress MP Saptagiri Ulaga said that she would not be surprised if Pandyan takes over as the chief minister of Odisha before the next elections.
Odisha BJP chief whip Mohan Majhi has said that Pandian has resigned from his job to enter politics. “Now, he can do politics openly without the mask of IAS. But the people of Odisha will not accept him,” he said.