Monday, October 26, 2015

A new Kejriwal in UP? IAS officer Surya Pratap Singh set to announce his political party on Wednesday

IT’S official, now. Surya Pratap Singh, 1982 batch UP cadre IAS, will on Wednesday formally announce the formation of a new political party that is likely to focus on 2017 assembly elections of Uttar Pradesh. Once the political party is announced, Singh will join the list of bureaucrat-turned political entrepreneur, the others being IRS-turned Aam Aadmi Party chief Arvind Kejriwal and IAS-turned…
Lok Satta Party-founder Jaya Prakash Narayana, among others. Singh, who had turbulent relations with Akhilesh Yadav-led government in UP and got suspended for alleged violation of service rules, is organizing what he calls Uttar Pradesh Bachao, Uttar Pradesh Banao conclave in Lucknow.
Earlier, Singh had openly extended support to IPS officer Amitabh Thakur who alleged that Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav had threatened him. Thakur is under suspension now.
Hailing from the state of Uttar Pradesh itself, Singh got the home cadre after getting selected into IAS in 1982. Prior to joining as IAS, he was a press reporter, and then a college lecturer, and was also selected for Indian Police Service and Indian Forest Service.
As an IAS, Singh served as district magistrate and collector in districts such as Badaun, Bijnor, Nainital (now in Uttarakhand), Muzaffarnagar and Bareilly. He is turning 60 in December this year. Only till a few months ago, he was serving as principal secretary, public enterprises in the government of Uttar Pradesh.
An MSc in botany, Singh is armed with diplomas in subjects such as forestry, rural development and computer application. And he is an MBA, and has a PhD degree from the University of Michigan, USA. He also authored six books in additional to a number of research papers. Singh also had experiences in working as a research scholar with globally renewed management guru Prof CK Prahalad.
Singh has been deeply involved in an anti-cheating campaign in Uttar Pradesh. He mentored a non-profit organization called VAST (Voluntary Action for Social Transformation) that is involved in eradication of cheating in examinations.
As quoted in a recent report in The Indian Express, Singh wants his new political party to draw inspirations from Ram Manohar Lohia’s Samajwad (socialism), JP’s Sampoorna Kranti (total revolution), Vinoba Bhave’s Sarvoday and Mahatma Gandhi’s Antyoday ideology. While touring the state of UP in the last few months, Singh has been speaking on corruption which plagues various institutions of the state.
It however remains to be seen whether Singh’s venture will be confined as an intellectual drive, or it can actually emerge as a political force in the state where four political parties -- SP, BSP, BJP and the Congress have been active. Is Singh creating an AAP in UP? Let's wait and watch.

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