Chhattisgarh: Senior IAS officer OP Chaudhary quits amid rumours of entry in politics

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Raipur District Collector O P Chaudhary today said he has resigned from service to serve people, without confirming reports that he was on his way to the ruling BJP. Local media reports claimed that Chaudhary, a 2005 IAS officer, was about to join the ruling party. The life has posed challenges before me on several occasions in my 13 years journey from the streets of my Bayang village to (post of) collector of Raipur, Chaudhary said in a Facebook post in Hindi. Now I want to devote my time for my land and the betterment of my people. Therefore, I have resigned from IAS, said Chaudhary who hails from Bayang in Raigarh district of Chhattisgarh. However, he did not say if he was going to enter politics and join the BJP or any other party. Reports said the officer could contest coming Assembly poll, possibly on BJP ticket, from the prestigious Kharsiya seat, a Congress bastion in Raigarh district. Umesh Patel, son of late Congress leader Nand Kumar Patel, is the incumbent Congress MLA there. Both Chaudhary and Patel belong to the dominant Aghariya community in the district. BJP sources said it is looking for a suitable candidate for the Kharsiya seat. A senior government official told PTI that Chaudhary has submitted his resignation to the Personnel and Training Department. Chaudhary could not be contacted for more information about his future plans. The IAS officer had received Prime Ministers Award for Excellence in Public Administration for 2011-12 for improving education facilities in Naxal-affected Dantewada. As of now, there is no confirmation from our top leadership (about Chaudhary joining the BJP), said state BJP general secretary Santosh Pandey. He added that the party has been inviting prominent personalities from various walks of life to join it, and if IAS and IPS officers want to join.they are welcome. Opposition Congress accused the officer of being a BJP-supporter. Even earlier, we had said he had been supporting the BJP as a bureaucrat, state Congress general secretary Shailesh Nitin Trivedi said.