The soaring crime rate in the national capital may spell curtains for Delhi Police Commissioner Amulya Patnaik as the Centre's ruling BJP is not ready to take any risks in view of the upcoming Assembly elections.
According to sources, the hiked incidence of crime could reflect badly on the Bharatiya Janata Party as the Central government is responsible for the law and order here, and the ruling Aam Admi Party (AAP) government might use the crime trend against it to attract people to its favour.
Therefore, the prospect of the Centre taking action on this score is giving sleepless nights to the Police Commissioner, whereas sources said Patnaik is applying every tactic to control the law and order situation.
With law and order worsening over last few months, Lt Governor Anil Baijal called a meeting last week and lashed out at the police chief. Subsequently, Patnaik pulled up other senior official next days in a closed-door meeting, the sources told IANS, adding that these changed equations are indicating towards a big change in the Delhi Police.
Political whispers are suggesting that the Centre is not ready to lose Delhi in the upcoming elections at any cost. It means, in a hope to hold the reins of Delhi, the Centre would not hesitate to replace Patnaik as a bid to show it is seized of the situation.
The question that now arises is that who could be the next Delhi Police Commissioner?
In this situation, Arunachal Pradesh-Goa-Mizoram-Union Territory (AGMUT) cadre 1985 batch officer Sachchidanand Srivastava tops the list. Currently the Special Director of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), he has experience of policing the city, having served here as Deputy Commissioner, Joint Commissioner and Special Commissioner.
The second name in the race was of Srivastava's batch-mate Ajay Kashyap. But, after an overnight transfer to the Tihar Jail as its Director General, he is now being considered out of the contention.
According to highly-placed sources in the Union Home Ministry, besides, Srivastava and Kashyap, another name in the list is 1987 batch AGMUT cadre IPS officer Taj Hasan. He is presently serving as Special Commissioner, Traffic, in the Delhi Police. With his retirement far away, he also holds a chance as he has had lots of direct dealing with city residents during his various postings in Delhi.
However, according to the seniority, 1986 batch IPS Rajesh Malik, who is currently serving as Special Commissioner (General Administration), and Special Commissioner at Provisions and Logistics S. Nityanand could be a choice for the CP's post.
But Srivastava appears to have better chances.
The reason is, Malik's name was maligned during his posting in Puducherry and he had to return Delhi overnight, while Nityanand's retirement date is approaching.
Overall, Srivastava's name tops the list. But, he also will not have a cakewalk as his relations with former Central Bureau of Investigation Director Alok Kumar Verma may mar his image.
However, Patnaik wants to remain in his post till the formation of the new government in Delhi and trying to do his best to do so.