Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar. Earlier, Ms Kumar’s father Babu Jagjivan Ram represented that constituency. Leading newspaper The Indian Express quoted Ramaiah saying that he was keen to contest the coming Parliamentary polls from Sasaram, but did not divulge whether he was advised by Bihar CM and JD (U) chief to quit the service. It was Sasaram where Meira Kumar won two times, first in 2004 and then in 2009.
If Ramaiah actually contests against Ms Kumar, it would possibly be the first time in the history of Indian democracy that a former Indian Administrative Service officer is pitted against a former Indian Foreign Service officer. For the record, Ms Kumar joined the IFS in 1973, the same year Nirupama Rao and Meera Shankar joined the service. Ms Kumar served in the Embassy of India, Madrid (Spain) and High Commission of India in London, and was also posted in the ministry of external affairs, Delhi. She is an advance diploma holder in Spanish language.
Ramaiah on the other hand is an MA in political science, and originally belongs to Andhra Pradesh. But the man who was collector in Bihar’s districts like Madhepura, Palamu, Begusarai and Bhagalpur, has a good understanding of Bihar politics.
Yet, there are reports saying that YS Jaganmohan Reddy is learnt to have approached Ramaiah and asked him to contest from Andhra Pradesh on a YSR Congress ticket. Ramaiah’s son KS Shivkant, who is an MBA located in Hyderabad, may too plunge in politics on YSR Congress platform, claim some reports.
Two years ago, Ramaiah hogged the media limelight when he asked visitors at his janata darbar not to touch his feet, an age-old tradition in most parts of heartland India. “This act of showing respect came as a culture shock for Ramaiah, a native of Nellore district in Andhra Pradesh,” says a report published in The Telegraph two years ago. The report also published a photo where Ramaiah was seen preventing a woman visitor from touching his feet.