By FnF Correspondent | PUBLISHED: 24, Oct 2023, 17:35 pm IST | UPDATED: 24, Oct 2023, 17:35 pm IST
Pandian's ascent to become the most trusted aide of Naveen Patnaik faced criticism from the party's adversaries like the BJP and the Congress, who have alleged that he misused his bureaucratic position.
Congress MP Saptagiri Ulaka said that it wouldn't be surprising if Pandian assumed the role of the Chief Minister of Odisha before the upcoming elections next year. Congress leader Jairam Ramesh also said that the move was expected. "He has been a fine civil servant and helped Naveen Patnaik enormously. But it is good that a de facto situation will finally become a de jure one, and Pandian will become a political figure in his own right. It was a strange situation in Odisha for over a decade and a half with the CM being like an absentee landlord and his chief aide functioning as the state's CEO," said Ramesh.
Meanwhile, BJP chief whip Mohan Majhi commented, "Now, he will have the opportunity to engage in politics openly, without the facade of a bureaucrat. The people of Odisha may not embrace him.