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Bihar top cop steps down, hints at entry into politics

September 24, 2020 06:25 AM


Bihar top cop steps down, hints at entry into politics

Avinash Kumar

Patna : Bihar’s director general of police (DGP) Gupteshwar Pandey stepped down five months before he was due to retire, sparking speculation about his imminent entry into politics as a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) candidate in the forthcoming assembly elections in the state or in a by-election to a Lok Sabha constituency.

While Pandey, who tried to enter politics in 2009, didn’t explicitly confirm his intent, he did drop enough hints to suggest that he could contest the polls. A music video by a reality show contestant was released a few minutes after his retirement was approved. The video played up Pandey as Robin Hood, a scourge of criminals, and as someone trying to seek justice for actor Sushant Singh Rajput , whose sudden death on June 14 is being investigated by several central agencies.

Governor Phagu Chauhan promptly approved Pandey’s application seeking voluntary retirement late Tuesday evening — adding to the buzz around his political entry — and a notification in this regard was subsequently issued by the state’s home department.

The state government has given director general (home guard and fire services) Sanjiv Kumar Singhal additional charge as the state’s DGP.

In 2009, Pandey sought to retire  to fight the Lok Sabha election from his home district of Buxar, but later withdrew his application for retirement after failing to get a BJP ticket.

Addressing a crowded press conference at his residence on Wednesday morning, Pandey, who is known for his outspokenness, dropped clear hints about his impending political plunge but stopped short of disclosing his destination, although he showered praise on chief minister Nitish Kumar for his “non-interference in policing”. Kumar’s Janata Dal (United) and the BJP are allies.

“I am meeting people from Buxar, Begusarai, Bettiah and Jehanabad. They are asking me to join politics. I have not made up my mind yet. But if I do so, I will make it known to all,” he said, dwelling at length at his policing achievements over the past four decades.

“I have not joined any party. I have also not said I will contest polls,” said Pandey, a 1987 batch Bihar-cadre Indian Police Service officer who took charge as DGP on January 31, 2019. He was due to retire next February.

Making an exception for Pandey, the state government is learnt to have waived the mandatory provision of an advance application for voluntary retirement. Officials, however, said this was not the first instance of such a waiver.

Speculation is rife that Pandey may contest assembly elections either from Buxar or Valmiki Nagar.


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