New Delhi, Aug 28: Ending speculations, former Raipur collector O P Choudhary today joined the BJP, days after resigning from the Indian Administrative Service (IAS).
"I have assumed the membership of the BJP," said Choudhary, who tweeted a photo of him with BJP president Amit Shah and Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh after joining the party.
Talking to PTI, the former bureaucrat said he served the people of Chhattisgarh for 13 long years and did all to help them.
"I am very satisfied with my tenure in the IAS. But bureaucracy has its own limitations. I want to work more for my people and my soil that is why I decided to leave the service," Choudhary, who hails from Chhattisgarh, said.
An IAS officer of the 2005 batch, he resigned from the service last week. He was allotted his home state as his cadre.
His resignation has been accepted by the Union Personnel Ministry, the nodal authority for the service. Choudhary, who is credited for bringing transformation in education in Chhattisgarh' naxal-affected Dantewada district, is likely to contest the upcoming Assembly polls from the Kharsiya seat, a Congress bastion in Raigarh district, sources said.
Umesh Patel, son of former state Congress chief Nand Kumar Patel, who was killed in the Jhiram valley naxal attack in Bastar's Darbha region ahead of the 2013 Assembly polls, is the incumbent Congress MLA from Kharsiya.
Choudhary belongs to Patel's Aghariya community, a dominant OBC community in Raigarh, and he may dent the traditional Congress vote bank if the BJP decides to field him from the seat, the sources said.
The former IAS officer was given the Prime Minister's Award for Excellence in Public Administration for the year 2011-12 for his contribution in development of naxal-affected areas through education. Elections for the 90-member Chhattisgarh Assembly is due this year-end.