Mrunal Manmay Dash

Following VK Pandian’s formal joining of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Monday, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) National Vice President Baijayant 'Jay' Panda said the soul of former Odisha Chief Minister and late Biju Patnaik must be in pain watching this development.

Speaking to reporters Panda said, “Late Biju Babu’s soul will definitely be in pain to watch BJD failing to find anybody from 4.5 crore Odias to run the party which was built on his (Biju Patnaik) name.”

Doing politics by using another person’s name and hiding behind the screen is a different thing and fighting elections at the fore front is another thing altogether. Only time will tell how he (Pandian) fares in active politics, the BJP VP added.

Odisha BJP Chief Manmohan Samal said that earlier Pandian was doing politics behind the scenes by remaining a civil servant and now, he will be doing the same thing out in the open, which is a good thing. Everybody can do politics in a democratic setup, he added.

Asked about its impact on the BJP, Samal said, “There are a lot of people joining politics. It will have no impact on the BJP.”

Speaking on the same, Congress MLA Santosh Singh Saluja said, “Politicians are subjected to criticism and discussion all the time. Pandian joining BJD is a political event. We welcome him, but I think he should have joined 10 years ago. He should not have done politics by sitting in the CM’s chamber all these years.”

Meanwhile, Gopalpur MLA Pradeep Panigrahi lambasted BJD and VK Pandian saying, “BJD is a party of selfish, self-centered, and for themselves.”

“The fact behind all the court cases against me is Pandian’s ploy to enter the party by sidelining me. He (Pandian) wanted to take the reins of Odisha politics into his own hands. Odisha is heading towards a disaster politically, economically, culturally and socially," Panigrahi alleged.

5T Chairman and former bureaucrat V Karthikeyan Pandian formally joined BJD on Monday. He joined the conch party at Naveen Niwas in the presence of the party supremo Naveen Patnaik and other party leaders.