The developments over processing city police chief Dr Satyapal Singh’s resignation at Mantralaya on Friday were enough to draw a conclusion that the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) was keen to relieve the officer at the earliest.
Sources say Satyapal Singh is likely to contest elections from Baghpat, Uttar Pradesh, where he will be up against Union Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh. Pic/Bipin Kokate
Home Minister RR Patil, who belongs to the NCP, announced that Dr Singh’s application was accepted with immediate effect. He was relieved and Additional Commissioner of Police (administration) Hemant Nagrale was given the charge of the Commissioner of Police’s post, sources confirmed.
The Democratic Front government was in a hurry to process the VRS (voluntary retirement scheme) application for voluntary retirement mainly to facilitate his joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), and to possibly enable him to attend a rally in Meerut on Sunday, in the presence of Gujarat CM Narendra Modi and BJP chief Rajnath Singh.
Additional DGP (law and order) Javed Ahmed and Anti-Terrorism Squad chief Rakesh Maria
The mandatory three-month notice period, too, was waived for the CP, sources from the government said. As per the rules, any IAS or IPS officer can put in his papers and apply for VRS, if s/he has completed 30 years in service or has attained the age of 55 years. “Since Dr Singh met both criteria, there was no question of denying him the VRS, as he has no inquiry pending against him,” they explained.
Reacting to reports that Dr Singh had a meeting with him over joining the party, ex-BJP chief Nitin Gadkari told MiD DAY, “Dr Singh and I and share cordial relations. We met in between, but on the issue of Dr Singh joining BJP, no progress has been made.”
Sources from the BJP said, “Dr Satyapal Singh had a meeting with Dr Ramapati Ram Tripathi, the party’s screening committee chief for Lok Sabha elections, in Uttar Pradesh around eight days ago. Tripathi, a Rajnath Singh confidant, wanted Dr Singh to resign first. But, the CP is believed to have suggested the announcement of his candidature first. This, Dr Tripathi clearly told him, was not possible.”
Dr Singh is likely to be a candidate from Baghpat in UP, where he will take on Union Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh in the general elections. “His name was doing the rounds as a candidate for Meerut, but the incumbent MP, Rajendra Agarwal, is from the BJP and there was no immediate reason to deny him a party ticket,” sources from the party revealed.
Meanwhile, instead of appointing a new commissioner of police, the state asked Additional CP (administration) Hemant Nagrale to officiate as the police chief for a few days. The selection of a new CP has become a tricky issue since the last six months, as the Congress is keen on Javed Ahmed, who is due for a promotion to the post of Director General (DG) along with K P Raghuwanshi. However, the NCP is said to be favouring ATS chief Rakesh Maria.