Bhubaneswar, February 8 (ANI): Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader and former IAS officer, VK Pandian, said that his job is to help Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, and he will happily contribute whenever the job is under his sphere of work. He said that he enjoys a great rapport with CM Patnaik and other leaders, so it is not a big issue for him to get with the party
Pandian, a 2000-batch Odisha cadre IAS officer, took voluntary retirement in October last year and was appointed as the chairman of the 5T initiative and Nabin Odisha scheme with the status of a Cabinet minister by the Odisha government.
In an interview with ANI, Pandian said, "I have been working for more than a decade with BJD, because you know that CM's office is a political office. So you interact with MLAs, MPs, Panchayat Raj institutions on a daily basis. Whatever are their issues, they come to the Chief Minister. He gives it to you for sorting out, coordinating with people." "So we have a great rapport with...I don't think that's an issue at all. I've been working with them, so it should not be a problem," he added.
Prior to seeking voluntary retirement, VK Pandian served as 5T Secretary to the State Government. 5T is a charter of governance that emphasises Transparency, Technology, Teamwork, and Time leading to Transformation. The state government ensures the speedy completion of many projects. The BJD leader further elaborated on the working system and said that just like the Principal Secretary works on the direction of the Prime Minister at the PM Office, he is also working on the directions of the Chief Minister.
"In the Chief Minister's office, all departments are under the Chief Minister. Every cabinet note comes to the Chief Minister's office for approval. Every policy decision comes. Every posting which is of significance, whether it is all India service or class one office, it comes to the Chief Minister. So Chief Minister has control over all the departments and that's how accountability is fixed in a democracy," Pandian said.
He added, "So you are there to help him, aid him. So there is nothing like... who is junior, who is senior. You are representing the chief minister in getting things done." On being asked if there are any instances of conflict of interest or 'dharam sankat', while political machinations, the former IAS officer said that CM Naveen Patnaik is very good at managing everything and he will happily contribute when the job is within his 'sphere of work'. "I think Naveen Babu is so good at managing everything. You are just a witness many times. But whenever it is within the sphere of my work, I'll happily contribute always. And he's the boss, he is the Chief Minister of the state, he enjoys the confidence. You have to run that extra mile always for him," Pandian added.
The bureaucrat turned Politician says he sees the BJD as a family that has a lot of love. " I see BJD as a family. Even in brothers and sisters, there will be some jealousy, some anger. That's how I see it, and one should live with it. But I get enormous love and affection from the party and the people. It's unbelievable sometimes. Unexplainable. And that is that inexplicable thing which made me jump into this. So it's the people's love finally what matters" Pandian said.
VK Pandian started his career as a civil servant as a sub-collector in Dharmagarh, located in Kalahandi district. Pandian subsequently served as a collector in the Mayurbhanj and Ganjam districts before transitioning to his role in the Chief Minister's office.
" Patnaik 5T Pandian is also said to be the man behind the Odisha government's flagship program Mo Sarkar. Mo Sarkar is aimed at injecting professionalism and a sustained behavioural change in public offices and functionaries through a random feedback mechanism that directly connects the government with the citizen.