Ex-MP Laxman Tudu accuses Pandian of being involved in iron-ore smuggling

Baripada: Former Mayurbhanj MP Laxman Tudu who recently joined the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) after quitting BJD has leveled allegations against VK Pandian, private secretary to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, of being involved in iron ore smuggling during his tenure as the Collector of Mayurbhanj.

Addressing a press conference in Baripada on Sunday, Tudu alleged that Pandian, along with the then Member of Parliament (MP) Sudam Marndi was engaged in mining scam during his tenure as Collector.

“When VK Pandian was the Collector of Mayurbhanj and Sudam Marndi the MP, both had entered into a secret deal to carry out illegal mining of iron ore in the area,” he said.

“And whenever I tried to meet CM Naveen Patnaik to apprise him about the matter and seek his assistance for the development of my region, I was barred from meeting by Pandian,” Tudu alleged.

However, CM’s private secretary Pandian was not available for comments.

On the other hand, refuting the allegations, Marndi said, “Tudu should have brought up the allegations then and there itself and if he has any proof, he should come out with it. I am not a mining merchant but a social worker. It is because of the people’s recognition that I am in this position today.”