Former Bihar DGP Gupteshwar Pandey on Sunday joined Nitish Kumar-led Janata Dal (United) ahead of Bihar Assembly elections. This comes days after Gupteshwar Pandey, who has been at the centre of the controversy surrounding the investigation into the death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput, took voluntary retirement from services and triggered speculation of contesting the upcoming Bihar assembly elections.
On Saturday, Pandey met Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar at the party office on Saturday and interacted with him for close to 30 minutes. As per PTI sources, Pandey might be considered for the Valmiki Nagar Lok Sabha seat where a by-poll has been necessitated by the death of sitting JD(U) MP Baidyanath Mahto or from Buxar seat.
The JD(U) draws its support, largely, from among non-Yadav OBCs and Pasmanda Muslims. The party hopes that with the induction of Pandey it may be able to reach out to the Brahmins, traditionally supporters of the Congress who have gravitated towards the BJP of late.
Gupteshwar Pandey has been a vocal supporter of Nitish Kumar and was criticised over his sexist remarks on actor Rhea Chakraborty. Pandey had hit the headlines recently for his vocal condemnation of the non-cooperation meted out to the Bihar police team that had visited Mumbai to probe the death by suicide of Patna-born actor Sushant Singh Rajput.
With a candour that is usually not associated with bureaucrats, Pandey had lashed out at the municipal authorities in Mumbai when they had forcibly quarantined Vinay Tiwari, a young IPS officer from Patna who heading the investigating team until the probe was handed over to the CBI upon a request to the effect from the deceased actor's father.
Pandey's comment, while he was still the DGP, that actress Rhea Chakraborty accused of abetment to suicide by Rajput's father did not have the 'aukaat' (standing) to make any snide remarks against Nitish Kumar was also much talked about. The Shiv Sena, which heads the ruling coalition in Maharashtra, had accused Pandey of acting as a political pawn of the ruling dispensation in Bihar ahead of the assembly elections.
Pandey had resigned from service in 2009 to contest the Lok Sabha elections held that year. His resignation letter was, however, intriguingly not forwarded and he was reinstated into service a few months later.
Dates for Bihar assembly elections were announced on Friday and Election Commission has said the polls will be held in three phases on October 28, November 3 and November 7.