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Gupteshwar Pandey's political fate hangs in balance as JDU fields Sunil Kumar for Valmiki Nagar LS bypolls

With the JD(U) naming Sunil Kumar as its nominee for November 7 byelections from Valmiki Nagar Lok Sabha seat, shortly after it released the list of candidates for assembly polls, the chance of former DGP Gupteshwar Pandey taking an immediate electoral plunge has ended.

IANS Reported by: IANS
Patna Published on: October 08, 2020 20:24 IST
Gupteshwar Pandey's political fate hangs in balance as JDU fields Sunil Kumar for Valmiki Nagar LS b
Image Source : PTI

Former DGP Gupteshwar Pandey

With the JD(U) naming Sunil Kumar as its nominee for November 7 byelections from Valmiki Nagar Lok Sabha seat, shortly after it released the list of candidates for assembly polls, the chance of former DGP Gupteshwar Pandey taking an immediate electoral plunge has ended. After Pandey failed to figure in the list of assembly poll candidates, there was a faint possibility that the newly inducted member might be fielded from the parliamentary constituency, but all hopes dashed, as the ruling JD(U) announced Kumar's name as its bypoll candidate on Wednesday.

Kumar is the son of JD(U) MP Baidyanath Mahto, whose untimely death necessitated the bypolls.

Speculation was also rife that Pandey, who quit his job to join the JD(U), might be fielded from Buxar, his hometown, or Shahpur, but the two seats went to the BJP, under the NDA seat-sharing arrangement.

The 1987-batch IPS police officer took voluntary retirement In September, five months before he was to superannuate as the Director-General of Police (DGP), and was soon after given membership of the JD(U) by party supremo and Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.

The move suggested that Pandey, who recently hit the national headlines for his proactive role in the investigation of actor Sushant Singh Rajput's death, might be given a ticket for state elections, but the voluble top cop was left high and dry after Wednesday's announcement.

Bihars Robinhood Pandey, as he is nicknamed, however, seemed undaunted by the party's decision as he asked his well-wishers to be patient.

I have got many calls from well-wishers. I understand their anxieties. Everyone expected that I will be contesting elections, but that isn't happening this time. I am not contesting assembly polls.

"Be patient, I will be serving people all life. Please do not call me. My life is dedicated to the people of Bihar.

Keep showering your love and blessings," he wrote on Facebook.

Although the ex-DGP failed to find a place in the JD (U)'s list of nominees, his former colleague Sunil Kumar, who recently retired as Director General (Home Guards), has been given ticket from Bhore (reserved SC) seat.

The opposition RJD attacked the JD(U) over the issue, and said the NDA has betrayed Pandey.

"Gupteshwar Pandey learnt his lesson hard and very late. There is nobody left the NDA has not betrayed," RJD spokesperson Mrityunjay Tiwari said.

Not just Pandey, records show that many of his predecessors have also failed to cut teeth in the battle of ballots. Former Bihar DGPs -- D P Ojha, R R Prasad and Ashish Ranjan Sinha -- had entered electoral fray only to cut a sorry figure in the poll battle.

Voters summarily rejected them when they chose to join politics after their long and illustrious careers.

Ojha had shot to fame after he took on Mohammad Shahabuddin, the all-powerful Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) MP from Siwan, during his tenure between 2002 and 2003, when Rabri Devi was the chief minister.

Known to be an upright officer, he knew that his actions against the don-turned-politician would annoy RJD boss Lalu Prasad, but that did not dissuade him.

His open defiance made him quite popular among people, but it did not earn him enough votes when he chose to contest the 2004 Lok Sabha elections from Begusarai seat.

Similarly, Sinha, who was the state police chief between 2005 and 2008 -- when incumbent chief minister Nitish Kumar had taken over the reins of the state -- contested the 2014 parliamentary elections from Nalanda on a Congress ticket, but finished third. He later joined the BJP but failed to make any headway.

"We are totally misfit in politics. Elections need money... Also caste equations in a constituency decide the result, a major minus point for people like us," Sinha said.

R R Prasad, who had served as the DGP during RJD regime from 2000-2003, fought legislative council polls in Arrah after retirement, but faced an embarrassing defeat.

The former top cops in neighbouring Jharkhand, however, have had a better track record, in comparison,.

Ex-DGP V D Ram has been a two-term BJP MP from Palamu, while 1972-batch IPS Rameshwar Oraon had won the Lok Sabha elections twice on a Congress ticket from Lohardaga. Oraon is now a minister in the Hemant Soren government.