Patna: Following 34-years of service, Gupteshwar Pandey - Bihar’s director general of police (DGP) - has resigned to take the plunge in electoral politics in the state scheduled for October/November.
Pandey, a 1987 batch Indian Police Service (IPS) officer, opted for voluntary retirement from his job late Tuesday evening barely five months before completion of his service tenure amid wide media speculations that he could contest elections as a National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate. What apparently prompted Pandey to quit his job was the fact that he would have to wait for another four-five years to jump into the poll arena if he missed this chance.
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“Contesting elections is not a sin. Anybody can join politics but I have not decided yet,” Pandey said. People from three districts were contacting him and putting pressure on him to join the politics he said.
In 2009, Pandey had resigned from service to contest Lok Sabha polls from Buxur seat on Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) ticket but as he was denied the ticket at the last moment, he made a request to the state government to reinstate him in the job after which the state government forwarded his petition to the central government. Finally, the Centre granted its approval as the cop returned to his previous police job once again.
Pandey had hit the headlines earlier when he said Rhea Chakraborty, one of the accused in actor Sushant Singh Rajput suicide case, doesn’t have the authority to make comments on Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar. “Rhea doesn’t have the ‘aukat’ (stature) to make comments on Bihar chief minister,” Pandey had said last month, responding to Rhea’s allegations that the actor case in Bihar was driven by political compulsions in the light of upcoming assembly polls.
Although the actor committed suicide in Mumbai, his father registered the case in Bihar. Eventually, it was on the recommendation of the Bihar chief minister that the Indian government ordered for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the case. Prior to that, the case was being investigated by the Mumbai police.
Shiv Sena which heads the three-party Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (Maharashtra Development Front) government launched bitter attacks on the DGP for quitting the job in the midst of Bihar elections. “The people will not trust the party which makes him a candidate. The agenda behind his political stance on Maharashtra has now become clear,” Shiv Sena parliamentarian Sanjay Raut commented. He added the political parties were using Pandey to defame the Maharashtra government.
Another Shiv Sena leader Priyanka Chaturvedi - who is deputy leader of the party in the Rajya Sabha - also hit out at the DGP for his latest move. “If you want to do politics then do it openly. If you want to contest elections, fight on courage and truth but in this ‘secret’ way, starting your campaign with the death of someone is very painful and unfortunate as well. May God give you wisdom before success,” she tweeted.
Last month, another IPS officer of the same batch Sunil Kumar had joined the Janata Dal United (JD-U) which is headed by Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar. The IPS official Kumar who served as Director General-cum-Managing Director, Bihar Police Building Construction Corporation, joined politics barely 29 days after he had retired from service. He is likely to contest elections from a seat in Gopalganj district.