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Hrusikesh Panda, The 'Bureaucrat Who Lives Off Two Suitcases', Joins BJP

The 1979 batch IAS topper joined the BJP at party's State headquarters in Bhubaneswar on Sunday

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Dr Hrusikesh Panda joins BJP Photo: -
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Dr Hrusikesh Panda, a former top bureaucrat who served both at the Centre and the Odisha government, joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday.

The 1979 batch IAS topper, known as "a bureaucrat who lives off two suitcases!” joined the BJP at party's State headquarters in Bhubaneswar, in the presence of party's election in-charge for Odisha Vijay Pal Singh Tomar, co-in-charge Lata Usendi and State BJP president Manmohan Samal.

Speaking on the mishrana parba, Samal said the joining of an honest former bureaucrat and a prominent writer like Panda's stature will certainly strengthen the narrative of the party.

Speaking to Outlook, Panda said he is moved by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's decisive leadership.

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A career bureaucrat, Dr Panda served in various positions both at the Centre and in Odisha government.

He retired as the Secretary of Ministry of Tribal Affairs, Government of India, in 2015. Prior to that he had served as Additional Secretary, Panchayati Raj Department, Government of India.

Before moving to Centre, Panda had served in various positions in Odisha government like Secretary, School and Mass Education, Special Secretary, Health, Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC) (Central and Northern); CMD, Industrial Development Corporation, CMD, OMFED etc.

Post retirement, he worked as Chairman of Special Committee on Livelihood issues of Tribal communities.

On the day of his superannuation, he left his government bungalow in a posh zone in Delhi, and left for his native village Kalidaspur in Bhadrak district.

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Dr Panda was responsible for executing and managing a number of people centric policies and programs. For his pro-poor activism, he had to face frequent transfers in his work life inside Odisha.

A Masters in Nuclear Chemistry, a Ph.D in English Literature - both from Utkal University - and an MBA from Southern Cross University, Australia, Dr Panda is considered as an original voice among major writers in India. He has authored about a hundred plus short stories, nine novels, four plays.

In his writings he handles social themes and passionately depicts humanism. He has been a major research material for scholars of Odia literature with a number of research scholars awarded PhDs on his writings.

Panda has made about a dozen films for Doordarshan, for which he has written the scripts, lyrics and composed music.

Panda has been living in his native village Kalidaspur, situated in Bhadrak district of Odisha.

Dr Panda has been widely acclaimed for his books Hawks and Other Stories (1989, Vikas, New Delhi), Sunaputra Loke (The People of Sunaput, 2012, Authorspress, New Delhi) and Brahmarakshas (God-Demon, 2007, Sahitya Academi, New Delhi).

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