‘Already has firm backdoor entry… ‘: Himanta Biswa Sarma dismisses Patnaik’s successor claim for Pandian | India News

NEW DELHI: Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday raised several questions regarding Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader VK Pandian‘s role in running Odisha. Sarma questioned whether chief minister Naveen Patnaik physically signs any file or if Pandian uses the CM’s digital signature. The Assam CM’s reaction came after Patnaik, during an interview with ANI, said that the people of Odisha would decide his successor.
Sarma expressed his concerns about Pandian’s control over the chief minister, saying that he may already have a ‘backdoor entry in running Odisha’.
“Even after this interview, people of Odisha still do not know – why ministers/ bureaucrats have no direct access to the Chief Minister; does the Chief Minister physically sign on any file or Mr Pandian uses his digital signature,” said the Assam CM in his post.
“Naveen Babu’s successor is immaterial as Mr Pandian already has a firm back door entry in running Odisha. He has pervasive control over the chief minister and Nabin Niwas,” Sarma added.
Sarma also commented on Patnaik’s response regarding his continuation as chief minister for the next five years if BJD wins the upcoming election. He suggested that either Pandian has already selected a “successor” or that Patnaik knows the BJP is likely to win the election.

‘Ridiculous, they are getting more and more desperate’: Patnaik

Earlier in the day, Patnaik dismissed the allegations made by BJP leaders that VK Pandian is “controlling the state”, calling them ridiculous and insignificant. In an interview with ANI, when asked if his close associate VK Pandian acts as a gatekeeper and takes all decisions on his behalf, Patnaik responded, “That is ridiculous and I have said it often before. This is an old allegation and it holds no weight”.
Patnaik suggested that the BJP’s accusations against his close confidant are a result of their growing desperation due to their declining popularity both in Odisha and across the country. He stated, “I see it that they are getting more and more desperate, particularly as their popularity is waning in the country”.
When questioned about the future leadership of his party, the Odisha CM assured that the BJD remains dedicated to serving the people of Odisha. “They see how the party is being run and the party is being run for the service of the people of Odisha and will continue to do so”, Patnaik affirmed.
Regarding the question of his successor, Naveen Patnaik clarified that the future of his party and the decision of his successor will be determined by the people. “I have said repeatedly that the successor will be decided by the people of the state. That is the natural result of these things”, he said.

(With inputs from agencies)


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