Pradeep Pattanayak

As per the Commissionerate Police data as many as 74 police personnel are engaged in the security of 5T chairperson, VK Pandian. 

The Commissionerate Police in its response to an RTI query by activist Prakash Chandra Das said two SIs (armed), 12 Havildars, and 60 constables, including four women constables are engaged for the security of 5T & Nabin Odisha Chairman, VK Pandian. 

As per the RTI reply, apart from a vehicle provided by the Home Department, a personal security officer has also been appointed for Pandian. 

Odisha Soochana Adhikar Abhiyan (OSAA) convenor, Prakash Das alleged that on average Rs 3 crore per year has been spent over the last five years. 

“For the last five years, a total of 74 police officers have been deployed for the security of VK Pandian. Rs 3 crore is being spent annually for his security. We demand that the police officers deployed for his security should be withdrawn,” said Prakash Das. 

The OSAA has also alleged that the misuse of private flights by a handful of officers has caused a loss of Rs 50 crore to the state exchequer. 

As per the information shared by the Parliamentary Affairs department, Rs 52, 18,34,529 has been spent on renting helicopters. This apart, an organisation providing chartered flights on rent has been paid Rs 50,95,21,450  for the period from 2019 till date. 

The OSAA has demanded that details like which officer used the chartered flights and helicopters and for what purpose should be made public. 

“We have been asking for details like who has used the chartered flights and for what purposes the flights were used, but we are yet to receive any information. VK Pandian and other officers have plundered money from the exchequer for their own interests,” said RTI activist Pradeep Pradhan.

No response was received from VK Pandian in this regard. 

Meanwhile, BJP leader Surath Biswal said, “He is just like a BJD worker. But 74 police officers are engaged for his security. Why he needs such a big security cover? Has the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) brought it to the attention of the Home Secretary and the DG? Are they aware of this?” 

“Why so much money is being spent for VK Pandian’s security? The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and the Chief Minister have to answer this,” said Congress Media Cell president, Biswaranjan Mohanty.

Responding to the allegations, BJD MLA, Parshuram Dhada said, "Earlier the Opposition had brought similar allegations and the Chief Minister had clarified. As he is one of the top office bearers of the party, he has to visit places and his security is very important."