Ex-Bihar Top Cop Meets Nitish Kumar Days After Quitting

On Wednesday Gupteshwar Pandey, who resigned last week, told NDTV there was nothing "unconstitutional, ethical or illegal" about his entering politics

Former Bihar top cop Gupteshwar Pandey met Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today

Highlights

  • Gupteshwar Pandey had resigned as Bihar police chief last week
  • "No discussion happened about joining the party," Mr Pandey said
  • He is likely to join JDU soon and contest next month's Assembly election
Patna:

Days after resigning as Bihar police chief, Gupteshwar Pandey, who made headlines for his shocking "aukat (stature)" comment about actor Rhea Chakraborty, met Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today. He is likely to join Nitish Kumar's Janata Dal United soon and contest next month's Assembly election.

In visuals from after his meeting with the Chief Minister, Mr Pandey is mobbed by reporters demanding to know if he had discussed joining the party and if he was set to fight the polls from his hometown of Buxar.

"I discussed nothing political with the Chief Minister. I have worked with him for long and, after retirement, I just wanted to thank him for his support. If and when I decide to join any political party, I will make it known to all," Mr Pandey said in response to the queries about his future.

On Wednesday Mr Pandey, who resigned just last week, told NDTV there was nothing wrong in his entering politics. "What's the harm if I join politics? Is it unconstitutional, unethical or illegal?" he asked.

A mandatory three-month cooling-off period for government servants has been waived in Mr Pandey's case.

"I am the people's DGP. Jantaka DGP. The janta of Buxar will decide what my next step should be, whether they want me to join politics or not... I'm a son of the soil. I have served in 34 districts," he said.

Mr Pandey, who also claimed to be known for his "impartial police work", has been a vocal supporter of Nitish Kumar and has been at the forefront of the Sushant Rajput case, nudging it all the way to the Supreme Court.

In a controversial statement following the court's order in August - that the CBI will probe circumstances behind Mr Rajput's death - he had lashed out at Ms Chakraborty for suggesting politics played a role in the Bihar government pushing for a CBI probe.

"Rhea Chakraborty does not have the aukat to comment on the Bihar Chief Minister..." Mr Pandey declared after court's ruling. His statements about Nitish Kumar being unfairly targeted were seen as unusually political for a then-serving police officer.

Ms Chakraborty, who has denied allegations by Mr Rajput's family that she had a role in his death, is currently in Mumbai's Byculla Jail after being arrested by the Narcotics Bureau.

She had contested the transfer of the case to the CBI by the Bihar government, stating that it would be "totally illegal and beyond any known legal principles, affecting the federal structure of the nation".

The Sushant Singh Rajput death case has become an emotive issue in poll-bound Bihar.

Earlier this month posters of Mr Rajput, whose hometown is Patna, were put up by the BJP's cultural cell "Kala Sanskriti Manch" with the message "na bhoole hain, na bhulne denge (we have neither forgotten nor will we let anyone forget)", drawing strong protests from the opposition.

The posters were seen as underlining the role of the Nitish Kumar-led Bihar government in pushing for a CBI probe into Mr Rajput's death and "ensuring that a promising young son of the state" got justice.