Himansu Shekhar Rout

Where has VK Pandian gone? This is what many political leaders are asking after the ‘powerful’ Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader who used to tour various parts of the state in helicopters is no longer visible and coming out to make statements following the electoral debacle of the party. 

Some leaders and critics were of the view that it was due to the IAS officer-turned-politician, that the ruling BJD lost the trust of the people. Prior to and during the elections, Pandian was making statements on issues by calling national and local media persons.

Soon after the elections, his vanishing act has left many wondering. And this has become the talk of the town. 

During an election rally, he had asserted that he would take Sanyas (retirement) if Naveen Patnaik was not elected and did not take oath as CM on June 9, countering the then PM Narendra Modi’s prediction that the BJP’s Chief Minister would take oath on June 10. 

Now, all eyes are on Pandian waiting to see if he would come out from his hiding to announce his sanyas from politics.

As for his reported disappearance, veteran BJD leader Jayanarayan Mishra, at a press conference on Thursday, said, "He will be jailed. Wait! It is not our lookout. It is the police that would look for him (Pandian).”

Also Read | VK Pandian factor responsible for BJD’s poll debacle in Odisha?

Asked if he has left Odisha, Mishra said, "He might have done so. I am not aware of his mental condition. But wherever he goes, police will hunt for him.”  

BJP leader Pratap Sarangi, who won the Balasore Lok Sabha seat, said, "All scams of the government will be investigated. Many powerful, established and wealthy persons including Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Congress leader P Chidambaram were jailed. It may be assumed that investigations may follow the trail into Naveen Niwas. Suitable places in jails will have to be reserved for Naveen Babu and Pandu Babu.”

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