Retired bureaucrats have contested elections in the past. But in Bengal's Debra constituency that goes to the polls on April 1, two IPS officers are locked in a face off against each other - both known to have been close to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee at one time or the other in their careers.
Trinamool's Humayun Kabir and BJP's Bharati Ghosh have emerged as two of Bengal's most prominent political rivals.
Mr Kabir claims a clear edge over Ms Ghosh -- who had joined the BJP in 2019 after falling out with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee during her police service - because he is a native of Debra in the West Midnapore district.
Ms Ghosh -- who had once addressed Mamata Banerjee as 'Maa' or mother at an official function while she was in uniform -- quit the service after a fall out while she was the top cop in the West Midnapore-Jhargram area.
"I am a native of this land. I was born and brought up here in Marhtala, and I know this place like the back of my palm; you cannot compare me with Bharati. I was a very senior IPS officer, and my record speaks for me. I do not think this is a battle between us," the former IPS officer had told news agency PTI, while campaigning for the April 1 election.
Mr Kabir's parents still live in his hometown, Debra.
Like Ms Bharati, Mr Kabir was considered to be close to the Chief Minister's office during his police service. Earlier this year, as the Chandannagar Police Commissioner, he had arrested three BJP workers for raising the incendiary "Goli Maaro..." slogans at a rally, making headlines.
Days after the incident, he resigned his post citing personal reasons. His retirement was due in April.
Later, he confirmed rumours of his joining the Trinamool.
"Mamata Banerjee has brought development to Bengal. I have worked under her and I have seen her standby people. I have been inspired by her. A party from outside is trying to win here by spreading division," he had said on the day he joined the Trinamool.
During the election campaign, when he was asked whether his electoral debut on Trinamool ticket was linked to his action against the BJP workers, he replied in the negative.
Mr Kabir has promised that he will resolve Debra's water scarcity problem. He has also promised to ramp up the area's civic infrastructure.
Debra has a total of 2,33,848 voters. Of them, 1,16,948 are women, marginally higher than the number of male voters, which is 1,16,899.
In 2016, Trinamool's Selima Khatun had defeated CPIM's Jahangir Karim in Debra.