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Friday, Nov 15, 2019

Raipur district collector resigns from IAS, likely to join BJP

District collector of Raipur OP Chaudhary, a 2005 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer has resigned from service, officials said on Saturday, amid speculation that he may join BJP

india Updated: Aug 25, 2018 23:12 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Raipur
Supporters of Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) wave party flags to their president Amit Shah on his arrival at Chennai.
Supporters of Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) wave party flags to their president Amit Shah on his arrival at Chennai.(AFP File Photo)

The district collector of Raipur, OP Chaudhary, a 2005 batch Indian Administrative Service (IAS) office has resigned from service, local officials confirmed on Saturday, amid speculation that he might join the state’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and contest the forthcoming assembly elections in Chhattisgarh.

“Chaudhary resigned and his resignation has been accepted,” said Aman Singh, principal secretary of chief minister Raman Singh. He declined comment when asked whether Chaudhary was joining the BJP.

Chaudhary did not respond to calls and text messages seeking comment. In a Facebook post on Saturday afternoon, he said: “Life has posed challenges before me on several occasions in my 13 years’ journey from the streets of my Bayang village to (the post of) collector of Raipur... Now I want to devote my time for my land and the betterment of my people. Therefore, I have resigned from the IAS.” The post did not say anything about entering politics.

People familiar with the matter, including some government officials said that Chaudhary is from dominant Patel Aghariya Other Backward Classes community in Raigarh and could contest the assembly poll from there. Umesh Patel, son of former state Congress chief Nand Kumar Patel, who was killed in the Jhiram valley attack by Maoists ahead of 2013 assembly polls, is the Congress MLA from Kharsiya, where Chaudhary was born.

“As of now, there is no confirmation from our top leadership (about Chaudhary joining the BJP),” said state BJP general secretary Santosh Pandey. He said that the party has been inviting prominent personalities from various walks of life to join it, and “if IAS and IPS officers want to join...they are welcome”.

Chhattisgarh Congress chief Bhupesh Baghel said that his party is waiting for more IAS officers to resign as some more officers are working on the ruling BJP’s agenda. “The resignation of OP Chaudhary reflects that the government was being run by some administrative officers not by the party or CM,” Baghel said.

The IAS officer received Prime Minister’s Award for Excellence in Public Administration for 2011-12 for improving education facilities in Maoist-affected Dantewada.

(With agency inputs)