Former Commissioner of Police of Kanpur Nagar, Asim Arun, made a tryst with history by becoming the first direct Indian Police Services officer to find a place in the council of ministers of Uttar Pradesh.
Arun was sworn in as a minister of state with independent charge in the Yogi Adityanath government’s council of ministers which assumed charge for a second consecutive term in Lucknow on Friday.
Arun is the second Dalit (Jatav) officer of the elite IPS cadre who was given prominence by the Bharatiya Janata Party and made a minister.
Earlier, Arun’s mentor and former UP DGP Brij Lal, also a Dalit officer, had joined the BJP soon after his retirement and was made a Rajya Sabha member by the saffron outfit.
In 1996 too, a police sub-inspector, Satya Pal Singh Baghel, had quit his job to join politics and went on to become a four-time MP. He first joined the Samajwadi Party, then switched over to Bahujan Samaj Party before finally shifting to the BJP and becoming a Union minister in the Narendra Modi government.
He also contested the recent assembly election against SP chief Akhilesh Yadav from Karhal seat (Mainpuri) but got a drubbing.
Like Arun, another 1980 batch IPS officer and former Mumbai Police Commissioner, Satya Pal Singh, had opted for voluntary retirement and is a two-time MP from Baghpat and finds a place in the Modi council of ministers at the Centre.
Earlier, SP leader Ahmed Hassan, who recently passed away, had also served the UP Police before taking a plunge into politics. He was promoted to the Indian Police Services (IPS) cadre from Provincial Police Services (PPS) cadre. Hassan too served as cabinet minister in the SP government and was leader of the opposition in the UP Legislative Council when he breathed his last.
However, Hassan never contested an election and remained as member of Council whereas Arun is the first direct IPS officer from UP to quit services as commissioner of police in Kanpur Nagar and successfully win his first assembly poll from Kannauj Sadar constituency, defeating SP candidate Anil Dohre by more than 6,000 votes. Arun’s late father Shree Ram Arun also served as a DGP in UP.
Besides Arun, another man in khaki to don the saffron and win the recent assembly poll from Sarojininagar constituency of Lucknow is former Enforcement Directorate Joint Director Rajeshwar Singh. A PPS officer with UP Police, Singh was tipped to be made a minister in Yogi’s government which ultimately did not happen.
In the last 25 years, about a dozen police officers joined politics but most of them failed to achieve considerable success. Among them is 1972 batch IPS officer SR Darapuri, who retired as inspector general in 2003 and contested the 2004 Lok Sabha polls from Lucknow and then again from Robertsganj in 2014, but lost on both occasions.
Similarly, 1991 batch deputy superintendent of police with Special Task Force, Shailendra Kumar Singh, quit his job to join the Congress and contested the 2009 Lok Sabha polls from Chandauli, but lost. In the 2012 assembly polls, he again tried his luck but bit the dust.
Other former IPS officers like Kush Saurabh, Dawa Sherpa were active politically but did not contest polls. Interestingly, Sherpa had also resigned from services before going to contest polls. However, after losing the election, since his resignation was not accepted, he joined the services and is now ADG (CB CID) in UP.
Another retired IPS officer, Brij Lal, joined politics but did contest any election but the BJP made him a member of the Rajya Sabha.
Also, a retired DG rank officer in UP, Surya Kumar Shukla, too joined the BJP but failed to get any recognition. Another IPS officer, Gyan Singh, retired as DIG Home Guards and joined politics but was unsuccessful.