Ending weeks of speculation, V K Pandian, the former bureaucrat who previously served as the private secretary to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, officially joined the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Monday (27 November).
The induction ceremony took place at Naveen Niwas in Bhubaneswar, with Chief Minister Patnaik and other party leaders in attendance.
This move follows Pandian's voluntary retirement from the Indian Civil Services on 23 October, which was approved by the Centre.
Immediately after his retirement, he assumed the role of 5T Chairman (Transformational Initiatives) with the rank of Cabinet Minister.
The development is significant for the BJD as it gears up for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, with the party focusing on strengthening its organisational units in various constituencies.
Pandian, a 2000-batch IAS officer, has been actively involved in reviewing developmental projects in all districts of Odisha.
During his 12-year tenure as the private secretary to the Chief Minister and 5T Secretary, Pandian faced criticism from the opposition, accused of engaging in politics while in civil service.
Earlier this year, he drew scrutiny for extensive tours and public meetings in several districts of the state.
Bhuvan Krishna is Staff Writer at Swarajya.
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