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"Pandian Not My Successor": Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik Dismisses Allegations Of Ex-Bureucrat's Influence Over Him As 'Ridiculous'

Swarajya Staff

May 30, 2024, 05:14 PM | Updated 05:13 PM IST

Naveen Patnaik with V K Pandian.
Naveen Patnaik with V K Pandian.

In response to BJP making Odia Asmita (Odia Pride) a central campaign issue by targeting Tamil Nadu-born bureaucrat-turned-political leader V K Pandian, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik clarified on Thursday (30 May) that Pandian is not his successor.

According to a report by The New Indian Express, Patnaik stated that his successor will be chosen by the people of Odisha.

When questioned about Pandian's influence and whether he makes all decisions on Patnaik’s behalf, the CM dismissed the notion as "ridiculous," labelling it an old, baseless allegation.

The BJD leader also refuted speculations about Pandian being his successor, calling such talks exaggerated and unfortunate. "I cannot understand these exaggerations," he remarked.

Regarding BJP's accusations against his close confidant, Patnaik suggested these claims stem from the BJP's desperation due to their waning popularity in Odisha and across the country.

"I see it that they are getting more and more desperate, particularly as their popularity is waning in the country," Patnaik asserted.

Patnaik highlighted that party leaders and workers are committed to serving the people, and the party will continue to do so in the future.

He further expressed his intention to remain Chief Minister for the next five years if re-elected.

"I've been in politics for the last 27 years. I was given the position of party president 27 years ago, and I've been running it well since then and will continue to do so," he said.

Patnaik’s statements followed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's public remarks about his health condition and a promise to investigate the matter if the BJP comes to power in Odisha.

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