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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Day after Bihar DGP Gupteshwar Pandey takes VRS, says ‘will continue to serve people’

Pandey was due to retire in February next year. When the 1987-batch IPS officer took VRS on Tuesday, there was a buzz about him contesting elections.

Written by Santosh Singh | Patna | Updated: September 24, 2020 8:15:15 am
Gupteshwar Pandey (left) at an event in Patna (File)

The sudden decision of Gupteshwar Pandey, who has recently been in the spotlight for his frequent remarks on the Sushant Singh Rajput death case, to step down as Bihar DGP has led to buzz that he might take the political plunge in the upcoming Bihar Assembly elections, scheduled to be held in November.

When asked if he would join politics, Pandey said: “I am well within my rights to take VRS. One is entitled to take it after 30 years of service. I am free to choose what I want to do. I served people as a police officer and would continue to serve them in another role.”

Pandey was due to retire in February next year. When the 1987-batch IPS officer took VRS on Tuesday, there was a buzz about him contesting elections.

He had taken VRS before the 2009 Lok Sabha polls and was about to contest from Buxar, but BJP veteran Lalu Muni Choubey had scuttled his chances.

There were recent indications of Pandey’s political inclinations in the manner in which he took on Mumbai Police and defended Bihar Police over the Sushant Singh Rajput case. He almost single-handedly put forward the Bihar government’s stand, especially after IPS officer Vinay Tiwari, who was sent by Patna Police to monitor the investigation, was quarantined in Mumbai.

Sources said that Pandey is likely to contest from Buxar Sadar seat, currently represented by the Congress. It used to be a BJP seat until 2015 polls. As Buxar Sadar seat is likely to be in the BJP’s share, Pandey could get a ticket from the BJP.

“Besides being popular, he comes from an upper caste, which suits the social profile of Buxar Sadar seat,” said a BJP source.

Since morning, people from Buxar were seen streaming into his Patna residence.

The retired IPS officer, known for initiating community policing and playing a key role in controlling communal riots, is believed to have kept his options open. Shahpur in Buxar and Valmikinagar in West Champaran are other probable seats. He has kept his options open with JD(U) as well, sources said.

Pandey’s name had earlier come up in connection with a case of kidnapping and murder of a minor girl, which is being investigated by the CBI. However, he is not named in the case.

Pandey, who belongs to a Buxar village, was first selected in Indian Revenue Service in 1986 and in IPS in 1987.

Former DGP Ashish Ranjan Sinha had earlier taken to politics. Former DGP, Home Guards, Sunil Kumar recently joined JD(U).

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