Dr Ajoy, Kejriwal: From civil service to public service

Both Lok Sabha member from Jamshedpur, Dr Ajoy Kumar and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal qualified UPSC examination, quit as civil servants, worked for Tata groups and eventually became full-time politicians.

What is common between ex-IPS officer-turned-former Lok Sabha member from Jamshedpur, Dr Ajoy Kumar and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal?

Nothing, other than the fact that both qualified UPSC examination, quit as civil servants, worked for Tata groups and eventually became full-time politicians. While one went on to become a Lok Sabha member from Jamshedpur, the other became the Chief Minister of Delhi.

Locals here proudly narrate an incident how in the mid-90s, JJ Irani, the then Managing Director of Tata Steel, one day asked the then Chief Minister of undivided Bihar, Lalu Prasad, to send an upright IPS officer to Jamshedpur who could take the goons to the task and stem the rot in the Steel City.

Dr Ajoy Kumar, who was then City SP of Patna, was handpicked by Lalu and shifted to Jamshedpur. A 1986-batch IPS officer, born in Karnataka’s Mangalore, had completed his MBBS from Puducherry, before qualifying the UPSC examination and joining as an IPS officer. Nicknamed as ‘encounter specialist’, Ajoy became a household name in the Steel City. Soon he quit as IPS and joined Telco (now called Tata Motors) as one of its top executives.

Ajoy’s popularity reached its peak in 2009 when he contested and won the Lok Sabha by-election from Jamshedpur. The bypoll was necessitated as Arjun Munda, the BJP MP from Jamshedpur, resigned to take over as Jharkhand CM. Ajoy became a Lok Sabha member representing former Jharkhand CM Babulal Marandi’s party – Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM).

However, Ajoy later joined the Congress. He was supposed to be appointed a Rajya Sabha member from Karnataka but was eventually made AICC spokesperson. Later, he was made the president of Jharkhand Congress where he made more enemies than friends.

In September 2019, he joined the AAP, the political outfit launched by his former colleague in Tata groups Arvind Kejriwal. Incidentally, Kejriwal worked for Tisco (now called Tata Steel), before becoming an IRS officer in 1995.

“We feel proud that both Kejriwal and Ajoy Kumar worked in Jamshedpur and are making rapid strides in the field of politics,” said G Mukherjee, an official in the hospitality sector in the Steel City.   

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