India: Former Director-General of Police Gupteshwar Pandey denied assembly ticket for Bihar elections

Patna: Former Indian Police Service (IPS) official Gupteshwar Pandey, who resigned as Bihar’s director general of police last month to contest elections and start his new innings as a politician, has missed the bus again.

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Pandey, a 1987 batch IPS official, resigned last month and then quickly joined the ruling Janata Dal United (JD-U) headed by chief minister Nitish Kumar but his dream to become a lawmaker remains totally shattered now. The man has failed to get ticket despite his all efforts to join the poll fray.

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Speculations were rife that the former Director-General of Police (DGP) could be fielded from his hometown Buxur assembly seat but his dream crashed after this seat went to the Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) under the seat sharing arrangement. Very soon, the BJP announced its own candidate for the seat too.

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Pandey’s last hope was his candidature for the bye-elections to the Valmikinagar Lok Sabha seat which had fallen vacant following the death of sitting parliamentarian Baidyanath Mahto. However, this hope crashed too as the JD-U handed over the ticket someone else, leaving the police official high and dry.

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Given a ticket

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Strangely, Pandey’s former police colleague Sunil Kumar who too retired as the Director General-cum-Managing Director, Bihar Police Building Construction Corporation, was given ticket by the JD-U from a seat in north Bihar’s Gopalganj district.

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“I am very upset by the phone calls from my well wishers and I am aware of their concerns. After my retirement, everyone hoped that I would contest elections but I am not contesting the elections this time. There is nothing like getting disappointed. Please don’t lose your heart; have patience and avoid calling me,” Pandey wrote in his emotional Facebook post on Thursday.

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Strong reactions

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The former DGP had hit the headlines in August month for his bizarre comment in public that film actress Rhea Chakraborty, one of the accused in actor Sushant Singh Rajput suicide case, doesn’t have the ‘aukat’ (statute) to make comments on the chief minister. His comments drew strong reactions from Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut who accused him of carrying out a political agenda in the Sushant Singh Rajput investigation while holding the post of DGP Bihar. “IPS or IAS officers of the country should be fair and must not be influenced by any political party,” Raut had said.

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Pandey had also questioned the role of Mumbai police, then investigating the actor’s suicide case but now, CBI report says the actor had indeed committed suicide.

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The Shiv Sena said the ruling NDA denied ticket to this IPS official to escape its grilling in public in view of his controversial actions. “We had asked whether the BJP leaders will campaign for him (Pandey). It was may be due to fear of this question that he was not given a ticket,” Maharashtra home minister Anil Deshmukh told the media on Thursday.

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This was the second time that the Pandey missed the bus so narrowly after taking retirement from service. In 2009 as well, he had resigned from his job to contest the Lok Sabha elections from Buxur seat as a BJP candidate but he failed to join the poll fray as the BJP gave the ticket to Lalmuni Choubey, considered very close to former Prime Minister late AB Vajpayee. This left Pandey nowhere. Eventually, he requested the state government to reinstate him in the job and finally the Indian government too gave the green signal. Thus, Pandey returned to the police job to finally become the DGP, state’s top most police official.

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