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2-min read

K Pandiarajan: Minister Who Jumped Ship to Rattle Chinamma's Camp

andiarajan who accompanied VK Sasikala to meet the Governor to stake claim to form the new government has, today extended support to ‘caretaker’ Chief Minister O Panneerselvam. Even in his political career, he proved to be a true businessman knowing when to make the right moves.

Poornima Murali | CNN-News18

Updated:February 11, 2017, 4:20 PM IST
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K Pandiarajan: Minister Who Jumped Ship to Rattle Chinamma's Camp
file photo of K Pandiarajan. Source: Twitter
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Chennai: K. Pandiarajan, son of a matchbox factory worker, an astute businessman and politician who quickly rose up the political ranks across parties, is now making arguably the most significant jump in his career.

Pandiarajan, who accompanied VK Sasikala to meet the Governor to stake claim to form the new government, on Saturday extended support to ‘caretaker’ Chief Minister O Panneerselvam. Even in his political career, he proved to be a true businessman knowing when to make the right moves.

In many ways, Pandiarajan is an outlier in Tamil Nadu politics. Dressed in white, suave, and conversant in both English and Tamil, Pandiarajan proved to be an effective communication machine during the last few months of Jayalalithaa’s life. He was the party spokesperson within a short while of entering the AIADMK. He was also given an Assembly seat in the May 2016 elections; he won the Avadi constituency and has already announced a few schemes that, if gets implemented, would benefit the people of his constituency.

Pandiarajan was also a key interlocutor for Tamil Nadu in the Goods and Services Tax discussions. A member of the GST council, Pandiarajan is said to have astutely put forward the state’s demand and also ensured the state did not become a stumbling block in the monumental tax reform’s progress. Impressed with his enterprising abilities, Jayalalithaa also made him the state education minister. In a party like AIADMK that had stalwart politicians much senior to Pandiarajan, his ascent was eyebrow-raising.

But behind his political façade, Pandiarajan has the aspect of a businessman who turns challenges into opportunities. An XLRI-Human Resources graduate, Pandiarajan cut his teeth in business through a talent spotting and recruitment firm, the Ma Foi. Even now, he is referred to, sometimes, as Ma Foi Annan. His deal-making abilities, surprising many now with the way he is jumping ship, would be no big deal for those who knew him from his businessman days. His company was taken over by Vedior, which was acquired by Dutch HR giant Randstad for sterling valuations.

Pandiarajan, after that, was known to have struck the iron when it’s hot.

He started his political career with the BJP in the early 2000s but took to the DMDK, led by Vijayakanth. He was known to have been a key negotiator in 2011 that brought his party with the AIADMK. He also won a seat from the Virudhunagar constituency. In 2013, he along with 10 MLAs moved to AIADMK.

With Saturday’s move, Pandiarajan makes his third jump. On Twitter, for the last few days, he had been posting opinions that sent the message that he stood by Sasikala; the comments for such tweets, though, were not very friendly. With his tweet signaling at a move to the OPS camp, he is again back in favour with the Twitterati.

Pandiarajan, true to his image of converting challenges into opportunities, appears to be going by the people's pulse.
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