By Nageshwar Patnaik in Bhubaneswar, April 18, 2018: Odisha chief minister and the ruling Biju Janata Dal supremo, Naveen Patnaik appears to have mastered the art of springing surprises to his political foes like never before.

The induction of former Mumbai police commissioner Arup Patnaik to his party on Wednesday here is Naveen’s latest move to stun the BJP top leaders, who were very keen to take the retired 1979 batch IPS officer of the Maharashtra cadre to their party’s fold.

Arup Patnaik on Wednesday joined the party at Naveen Niwas here and the BJP had no inkling about it till the formal announcement this evening.

“I joined the party as the BJD worker. Joining the BJD has given me opportunity to return my native place and Odisha,” Patnaik said adding that he would abide by the party’s decision.

Union minister, Dharmendra Pradhan is understood to have talked to Arup Patnaik several times to bring the latter to the party. Sources said, Patnaik, who was given a rosy picture of the saffron party’s future in Odisha, also had agreed to join BJP, but the date was not firmed up. Pradhan and others also were aware that Arup had very closed relation with late BJP leader from Maharashtra Pramod Mahajan.

However, a friend close to Arup seems to have spoiled the BJP’s design to rope in the daredevil top cop in the last 15 days, sources said.

“During Arupbabu’s visit to Odisha, his friend explained the strength of Naveen Patnaik led BJD and weakness of BJP in the state politics. After sometime, Arupbabu decided to join BJD and last week, he had a meeting with chief minister to firm up the date”, the source said requesting anonymity.

Both the parties were very keen to have Arup for his heroics which even inspired Bollywood to make two movies – one ‘Aan, men at work’ where hero Akshay Kumar played DCP Patnaik and ‘Ponkshe’ depicting his Mumbai Police Commissioner stint.

Not surprisingly, the BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik described Arup as a “tremendous asset”. Arup is the only Odisha-born IPS officer to hold the post of Police Commissioner of Mumbai. He served the state for 36 long years leaving behind magnificent footprints in the sands of police history.

Born on September 8, 1955, Arup is a recipient of the Director General of Police’s Insignia for his signal contribution in the investigation of 1993 Bombay bombings. He distinguished himself by his effective handling of the Bombay Riots in his jurisdiction in 1992-93.

Arup may have succeeded as a police officer in Maharashtra, but only time will say, how he fares as his new avatar as a politician.

Leave a Reply

Be the First to Comment!

Notify of