Days after former chief of the Bihar Police, Gupteshwar Pandey, took voluntary retirement from service, he joined the Janata Dal United (JDU), an alliance partner of Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Pandey, an outspoken police officer, joined the party on Sunday in the presence of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who is also the JD(U) president.
The 1987 batch IPS officer had strongly defended Kumar on the issue of institution of a CBI probe into the mysterious death of actor Sushant Singh Rajput.
“Nitish Kumar ji personally called me and offered party membership with great love. I accepted it,” Pandey said.
“I don’t know anything about politics. I will do what I am asked to do,” he told reporters.
Pandey’s application for VRS was accepted by Governor Fagu Chauhan on September 21, five months before the 1987 batch IPS officer was to superannuate, and in a rare gesture, a three-month cooling off period applicable to bureaucrats was waived in his case.
Pandey also turned up at a press conference at the JD (U) headquarters where he was welcomed into the family by Ashok Choudhary, a cabinet minister who was earlier in the day appointed the working president of the state unit.
Nitish Kumar’s close aide Rajiv Ranjan Singh alias Lalan Singh, who has formerly been a state president of the JD(U) and is currently the party’s leader in the Lok Sabha, was also present.
One of the major achievements of Pandey, who has had an illustrious career, has been his ability to curb communal strife, said Singh.
When asked about his possibility of contesting the upcoming assembly polls, Pandey replied, This is not a decision I have to take. I shall work as a disciplined soldier of the party. Whatever role the party leadership deems fit for me, I will be happy to play.