Battle for UP: Khaki gets closer to Khadi

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The transition from ‘Khaki’ to Khadi in Uttar Pradesh is becoming increasingly smooth. At least two officers from the police force have quit their jobs to contest elections this year.

Aseem Arum, police commissioner Kanpur, quit his job last month and is contesting the the Kannauj Assembly seat on a BJP ticket.

Rajeshwar Singh, a Provincial Police Service (PPS) officer who later went on deputation to the enforcement directorate, has also quit the police service and is contesting the Sarojini Nagar seat on a BJP ticket.

At least three former police officers are, at present, members of Parliament from Uttar Pradesh.

UP DGP Brij Lal, who joined the BJP after his retirement in 2014, is presently a member of the Rajya Sabha.

Former Mumbai police commissioner, Satya Pal Singh, opted for a voluntary retirement scheme (VRS) from the Maharashtra government in 2014. He successfully became an MP twice from Baghpat in Uttar Pradesh and was also appointed a minister in 2017.

Union Minister Satya Pal Singh Baghel had also quit the police to join politics. He was a sub-inspector in the security of Mulayam Singh Yadav and went on to become four-time MP. He first joined the Samajwadi Party then BSP and now is in BJP. He is contesting the Karhal Assembly seat.

According to sources, nearly 11 police officers of different ranks have joined politics in the past 25 years.

In 2004 a Special Task Force (STF) officer, Shailendra Singh, had quit the job midway following a spat with the then Samajwadi Party government over gangster-turned-politician Mukhtar Ansari’s arrest.

The officer wanted to impose the POTA on Ansari but he was allegedly pressured by his political bosses to set him free. He tried contesting the 2004 election as an independent, but lost from Varanasi.

Later, he joined the Congress and contested in 2009 Lok Sabha from Chandauli and again in 2012 Assembly elections tried his luck, but lost on both the occasions. He has now joined the BJP.

A 1972 batch IPS officer, S.R. Darapuri who retired as inspector general of police in 2003, has also joined politics and formed his own outfit. He contested from Lucknow in 2004 Lok Sabha polls and then again in 2014 from Robertsganj constituency but lost both the times.

IPS officer Kush Saurabh took VRS to contest from the Bansgaon (reserved) Lok Sabha seat on a Congress ticket. Unfortunately, his nomination was cancelled by the Election Commission (EC) in 2019. Saurabh had joined the PPS in 1986 and was promoted to the rank of IPS in 2009.

Another officer Gyan Singh, who retired from the post of DIG in homeguards in 2013 joined the BJP in 2015.

Former DG homeguards, Surya Kumar Shukla, who retired from the services in 2018, also joined the BJP.

IPS officer Dawa Sherpa, who is currently ADG (CB-CID), was absent from service from 2008 to 2012 before he was regularised again in 2013. He had reportedly applied for voluntary retirement in October 2008, but the home department could not process his plea as he had not completed 30 years in service to avail it.

He formally joined the BJP and was appointed secretary of the party’s state unit and sought a party ticket for Darjeeling Lok Sabha seat in 2009. He returned to Uttar Pradesh in 2012. His services were regularised, and he was given a promotion in 2013 as deputy inspector general (DIG).

Talking to IANS, a retired IPS officer said, “The nexus between politicians and IPS officers has become very close and officers who develop the confidence of these netas, get drawn towards politics. It is a dangerous trend for the credibility of the police service.”

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