Cop who arrested Advani gets Congress ticket
A former police officer who arrested then opposition leader L.K Advani on his famous Rath Yatra in 1990 has got the Congress party ticket to contest the parliamentary elections from Jharkhand.
Rameshwar Oraon, a former Indian Police Service officer, was additional director general of police in Jharkhand before he sought voluntary retirement in January to contest the polls.
He will contest from Lohardagga.
Oraon had arrested Advani in November 1990 in Samastipur district of Bihar when the latter was on a nationwide campaign to drum up support for building a Ram temple at the disputed Babri mosque site in Ayodhya.
The arrest was made on the orders of then Bihar chief minister Laloo Prasad Yadav. Advani's arrest set in motion a chain of events that led to the fall of then prime minister V.P Singh's government.
Sources close to Oraon, a tribal, said he had for long wanted to join politics.
Oraon, who belongs to Palamau district of Jharkhand, had never hesitated to join public programmes even during his tenure as a police officer. He sought voluntary retirement after getting a green signal from Congress president Sonia Gandhi, the sources said.
He succeeded in getting a Congress ticket even though local tribal leaders of the party had opposed his candidature.
The Congress currently has no tribal leaders in Jharkhand to counter those of other political parties.
The state's main opposition Jharkhand Mukti Morcha party has Shibu Soren, while the Bharatiya Janata Party has former chief minister Babulal Marandi.
The Congress is pinning its hopes on Oraon to rejuvenate the party in tribal-dominated Jharkhand ahead of the general election as well as assembly polls that are likely to be held after three months.
Tribals constitute 27 percent of Jharkhand's total population of 27 million.