Bihar babus scramble to join poll fray

Tirhut Commissioner K P Ramaiah was to retire on July 31 this year. But all of a sudden he has applied for voluntary retirement scheme (VRS), which, sources say, may be granted by March 31. Another serving IAS officer of Jharkhand cadre, Vimal Kirti Singh, has also applied for VRS.

What’s common between the two IAS officers, apart from the fact that both have applied for VRS, is that both may throw their hats into the political ring and contest in parliamentary elections in Bihar.

While Ramaiah, who has worked tirelessly to uplift dailts and other downtrodden communities, is believed to be preparing to contest the Lok Sabha poll from the Gaya reserved constituency, Singh is reported to be toying with the idea of contesting from Rajput-dominated Maharajganj in North Bihar.

Ramaiah, however, has denied nurturing any political ambition. “I have applied for VRS due to personal reasons,” he said while denying speculation about his foray into the rough-and-tumble of politics.

But then, Ramaiah and Singh are not the only bureaucrats whom political parties are eyeing as suitable candidates. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has already roped in former Union home secretary R K Singh to contest the Lok Sabha elections from either Ara or Supaul in Bihar.

Singh, who retired earlier this year, was offered the job of “Infrastructure advisor to chief minister”, but turned down Nitish’s offer. After joining the BJP in the presence of party president Rajnath Singh, he went on to castigate the UPA government as well as the Nitish regime in Bihar – the two governments he had served as a top bureaucrat over the last 10 years.

Another top retired bureaucrat, R S Pandey, who earlier served as steel secretary and then petroleum secretary at the Centre, has also plans to test political waters after retirement. Pandey is mulling over the proposal of contesting the Lok Sabha elections from Valimikinagar in North Bihar.

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