• Tue. Jun 18th, 2024

Is V.K. Pandian responsable Naveen Patnaik defeat in Odisha

V.K. Pandian, a bureaucrat-turned-politician and close aide of Naveen Patnaik, was not directly responsible for the BJD’s defeat in the 2024 Odisha elections.

Naveen Patnaik defended Pandian against criticism, stating that he did an excellent job as an officer during natural disasters and the pandemic, and later contributed significantly to the party’s work after retiring from the bureaucracy.

However, the BJP effectively built its campaign around the “Odia Asmita” (Odia pride) theme, highlighting Pandian’s dominant role in both the government and BJD affairs. The perception that Pandian, an “outsider” from Tamil Nadu, was poised to take over from Patnaik did not sit well with the public.

The Odia pride and strong anti-incumbency sentiments created a powerful combination, leading to the downfall of the BJD’s 24-year regime.

During the campaign, BJD leaders found themselves sidelined as Pandian, along with Patnaik, took center stage. This gave the impression that the seasoned CM was being overshadowed and reduced to an ordinary politician.

The BJP’s aggressive campaign on this issue, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, paid rich dividends and helped break the BJD’s winning streak.While Patnaik gracefully accepted the defeat and said the people of Odisha would decide his successor, the BJP secured a simple majority by winning 78 seats in the 147-member assembly.

The saffron party also swept the Lok Sabha elections, winning 20 out of 21 seats.

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