With just months to go for elections in Chhattisgarh, the BJP is set to induct Raipur Collector O P Choudhary (37), a 2005-batch IAS officer, into the party. Multiple sources confirmed to The Indian Express that talks have been going on for at least two months, and Choudhary will join the BJP soon. He is likely to contest the assembly polls from his home district of Raigarh, said sources.
When contacted, senior BJP leader Sachidanand Upasne said: “So far, there is no official information on this. But if someone were to join, it would be welcomed.” Privately, many BJP leaders confirmed that Choudhary would join the party, and said he would be projected as a “youth icon”.
The Indian Express made repeated attempts to contact Choudhary, but phone calls and texts went unanswered.
Choudhary, who comes from a farming family in Bayang village of Raigarh, is considered a role model for the Agharia community which has considerable influence in the district.
He is credited with the creation of the ‘Education City’ in Dantewada during his time as Collector in the district, and was a recipient of the Prime Minister’s Awards for Excellence in Public Administration. In Raipur, he is credited with spearheading the Nalanda Parisar, the first of its kind 24X7 community learning centre in the state capital.
Meanwhile, Congress spokesperson Shailesh Nitin Trivedi said: “Thus far, the BJP has been using bureaucrats in office to do their dirty work. Now, if these officers want to enter the political field and fight it out openly in the political arena, we welcome it. The Congress will fight them, and defeat them as well.”