From Khaki to Khadi

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Satyapal-Singh12Satyapal Singh might be keen to make a foray into politics after resigning from the post of Mumbai Police Commissioner but will he be able achieve success in this arena? Many police officials who had entered politics failed to make any impact as they found that journey was not smooth. Will Satyapal Singh be able to script a new success story in politics? We take a look at how several police officials fared after taking a plunge into politics.

Aftab Ahmed Khan, a former Indian Police Service officer, turned politician from Mumbai, noted for his encounter killings of gangsters from the Mumbai organized crime syndicates. An officer of the Indian Police Service, Khan was a Deputy Inspector General of Police in Maharashtra state in the 1980s. In the mid-1990s, Khan sought to build on his image by joining politics. Initially expressing interest in joining the Samajwadi Party, he eventually went with the Janata Dal, with whom he stood elections in the Mumbai North-west constituency in 1998.

Former Assistant Commissioner of Police, Shamsher Khan Pathan is another official who entered politics. He formed the party, ‘Awami Vikas Party’ with an intention to create a united political front of the minorities and to “strengthen” the Muslim and Dalit unity. The party’s launch coincided with the 52nd Maharashtra Day. He retired as an Assistant Commissioner of Police after a service of over three decades. Shamsher Kahn Pathan’s party was unable to make an impact.

Baban Jadhav (60) who retired in 2007 as Assistant Police Inspector too had made a foray into politics. He failed to get backing from any political party and hence he contested as an independent candidate from Wadala Constituency. He stands with the intention to bring police reforms as his main agenda. Jadhav had chosen Wadala area to contest election because many police housing colonies exist in the place but he lost.

Retired Director General of Police T. K. Choudhary is another example of a police official who was unable to achieve success in politics. After retirement his first stint was to become a politician but he remained unsuccessful.

Satyapal Singh said, “So far my sphere of work was limited to Mumbai, now I want to serve the country,” he said. “I want to focus on working for social harmony, national integration and world peace,” he added.

A 1980 batch IPS officer, Singh is reportedly planning to contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections as a BJP candidate from Meerut or Baghpet constituency in Uttar Pradesh (UP). He has reportedly been in advanced talks with several senior BJP leaders, including party president Rajnath Singh and Nitin Gadkari. He also had received an offer from Aam Aadmi Party international forum.

Former IPS officer YP Singh said, “A police official has to seek the permission of the central government before taking up any assignment. Satypal Singh had good contacts with political parties by serving the police force.”