Bihar polls: Rebuffed ex-IAS officer invokes Shivaji teachings to seek support

Patna: Former petroleum and oil secretary Raghav Sharan Pandey, who has been denied renomination from his traditional Bagaha constituency by BJP on Thursday, invoked teachings of Shivaji Maharaj and appealed to the voters of his area to join in his struggle against the injustice caused by BJP.

Pandey, who is a retired IAS officer of 1972 batch and had successfully contested the 2015 assembly elections as BJP candidate, has been rejected by the election committee and in his place an OBC worker Ram Singh has been fielded. Pandey said he has been cheated and the people of his constituency betrayed by some influential BJP leaders of Bihar.

Pandey, a former IAS officer of Nagaland cadre had worked as interlocutor between the union government and the banned terrorist organisations of Nagaland, told Free Press Journal over phone from Bagaha, “Injustice has been done to me, to the people of Bagaha". There had been a conspiracy against me by some businessmen and contractors whose interests were affected adversely in last five years. I had disallowed middlemen in the development projects and liquidated their involvement in the delivery system to the tribals,”

Pandey appealed to the electorate to reject the middlemen and power brokers and elect the leader who fought for them. He reminded the voters of Shivaji Maharaj’s teachings and said his success depended upon the common man. "Let us fight together," he said.

Pandey also quoted some lines from a popular poem of Atal Bihari Vajpayee (Raar Nahi Thanunga, Haar Nahi manunga, Get Naya Gauonga) and declared with the support of the people he would set a new trend in politics of Chamaparan.

Bagaha is a district bordering Nepal in Chamaparan and till 90s it was notorious for presence of dreaded dacoits.

Pandey listed the achievements in last five years in development of infrastructure facilities in the constituency.

When asked if he would contest the elections as an independent against the official BJP nominee, Pandey said, “It is for the people to decide, but I will definitely contest. I cannot leave my voters in the lurch.”

RS Pandey is the second top civil servant in Bihar who has been denied nomination by NDA in the assembly elections. Last week, Gupteshwar Pandey, who had quit IPS six months before his scheduled retirement to contest the assembly elections was disappointed when JDU denied him ticket. His name was not included in the list of star campaigners of the party, though he had claimed he was invited by the people of at least 26 places to campaign.

MLA suffers heart attack

PATNA: Neeraj Kumar Babloo, the sitting MLA of BJP from Chhatapur in Supaul district, suffered a massive heart attack during electioneering on Thursday. He was admitted in a private hospital in Patna. Babloo is cousin of Sushant Singh Rajput. According to his family sources, the legislator was active in campaign in his constituency when he felt chest pain and later local doctors referred him to Patna hospital as he had suffered a heart attack.

Kotwali police here, meanwhile, filed and FIR against 50 people, believed to be supporters of a national party, for distributing free T shirts and masks with SSR photos in the slums of the state capital.

Police said they had distributed T shirts, caps and masks with SSR photos to 500 people in the slums on Hardinge Road near Haj Bhawan,Boring Road and later at Kargil Chauk. They were heard shouting slogans like Justice for SSR.

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