Maa Tarini Temple at Ghatgaon

Pandian leaves door open for BJD-BJP collaboration

New Delhi: VK Pandian, the Chairman of 5T and Nabin Odisha, did not rule out the possibility of an electoral alliance between the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Odisha.

“If anything happens we will all get to know,” he said while addressing the News18 Rising Bharat Summit 2024 on Tuesday.

Pandian underscored that discussions between the two political entities were not solely aimed at electoral victories or altering electoral dynamics. He portrayed these discussions as transcending mere electoral ambitions, asserting that the BJD’s success in Odisha for a sixth consecutive term didn’t hinge on the BJP, nor did the BJP necessarily require the BJD’s support to secure victories at the national level.

“Whatever talks have been held between the two parties were not to win elections or have an impact on the electoral math. It is something beyond elections. Neither the BJD need the BJP to win for the sixth successive term in Odisha, nor does the BJP may not need the BJD to win at the Centre,” he said.

Pandian praised both Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Prime Minister Narendra Modi as exemplary leaders and friends, suggesting that an alliance between their respective parties would epitomize exceptional statesmanship rather than electoral opportunism.

Reflecting on the recent panchayat elections in the state, Pandian highlighted the overwhelming support garnered by the BJD, with the BJP securing a mere fraction of the votes. He attributed this victory to Chief Minister Patnaik’s unwavering commitment to the welfare of Odisha’s populace.

Regarding his own political journey, Pandian clarified that while he had entered the realm of politics, his intentions did not incline towards contesting elections. Instead, he expressed his dedication to aiding Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in securing a majority in the upcoming Assembly polls, underscoring his admiration for Patnaik’s leadership and his desire to serve the people of Odisha effectively.

Responding to criticisms labeling him as an “outsider,” Pandian acknowledged being the target of opposition attacks for several years. However, he suggested that gauging his acceptance among the people of Odisha would necessitate observing their interactions and discussions with him firsthand.