Monday, November 15, 2010

Naxal sympathizer and senior IAS Pancham Lal to contest Parliamentary elections

MEET this Bihar cadre IAS Pancham Lal who is the batch-mate of some of India’s most high profile bureaucrats --- World Bank ED and possibly the next cabinet secretary Pulok Chatterji, Sonia Gandhi-chaired NAC secretary Rita Sharma and Information and Broadcasting secretary Raghu Menon just to name a few.
Pancham Lal, a 1974 batch secretary level IAS, has recently come under a major controversy when he said 90 percent cases against the Maoists are false. Not just that, he suggested withdrawal of all criminal cases against Maoists, a Times of India report said. Union home ministry has not yet reacted to his statement.
In fact, Lal, a Dalit MP and Bihar’s principal secretary of parliamentary affairs department recently sought voluntary retirement to contest assembly elections on a CPI-ML ticket from Naxal stronghold Bhojpur, but later changed his mind to wait for a while and contest the Parliamentary polls instead.
For Lal, Naxalism is not a law and order problem but a pure political issue and it can be resolved through negotiations. According to media reports, he often cites examples Bihar’s former CM Karpoori Thakur who released many Maoists.
It’s not the first time Lal became the newsmaker. A few years ago, he called in Army and police from neighbouring Uttar Pradesh to take on the then Siwan MP Mohd Shahabuddin who had allegedly assaulted a district police officer. In 2002, Lal uttered derogatory remarks about politicians forcing then RJD regime to transfer him. National president of Lok Janshakti Party Ram Vilas Paswan, then a Lalu baiter, had expressed resentment over the transfer of Lal, then Saran divisional commissioner.
Gupteshwar Pandey, 1987 batch Bihar cadre IPS officer, too sought voluntary retirement to contest elections in Bihar, but he is now very much in the service. Also, Ram Chandra Prasad Singh or RCP, a 1984 batch Uttar Pradesh cadre IAS and Bihar CM Nitish Kumar’s private secretary was recently nominated to Rajya Sabha on a JD(U) ticket.

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