HYDERABAD, July 23: Several retired bureaucrats and former members of the judiciary are stepping into the political arena in Andhra Pradesh.
While the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is popular with the defence personnel, IAS and IPS officers prefer either the Congress or the Telugu Desam Party (TDP).
The latest addition to the list of ex-bureaucrats is former CBI director K Vijayarama Rao who is all set to join the ruling TDP soon. Rao, who has been toying with the idea of entering public life for quite sometime, was approached by the TDP leaders to join the party. A high-profile officer while in service, Vijayarama Rao headed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) when P V Narasimha Rao was the prime minister.
Former member of the judiciary, Justice Sardar Ali Khan, who retired as High Court judge and later served as chairman of the National Minorities Commission, is too expected to join the party along with Rao.
G Ramachandra Reddy, IPS, who retired as Inspector General of Police in 1998, joined the BJP on Wednesday.
Former Home secretary P V rangayya Naidu, who joined the Congress before the 1991 Lok Sabha elections, won from Khammam constituency and went on to become a minister in the Narasimha Rao Cabinet. As a Home secretary, he served in the Union Cabinet for the full tenure of five year.
Later, Rangayya Naidu lost the 1996 elections and unsuccessfully contested the by-polls to Nandyal Lok Sabha constituency, after Narasimha Rao vacated the seat.
Another retired IAS officer, K S R Murthy, won as the Congress candidate from Amalapuram in 1996 but lost it in 1998. He is back in fray for the September polls.
But, not all could go up the political ladder. A retired DIG K Balakondaiah, and former IAS officer N Venkataswamy unsuccessfully contested as BJP candidates from Nellore and Tirupati respectively in 1998 but lost to the Congress and the TDP nominees.
A host of intellectuals joined the BJP on the eve of 1998 elections, including a large number of retired defence officers. They included a retired IG, A Hanumanth Reddy, NGRI founder director Hari Narayan, NFC former chief K K Sinha, five Lt Generals and Major Generals, 16 brigadiers and one Rear Admiral.
M Lakshmi Narayana, director of the State Crime Records Bureau holding IG rank, opted for voluntary retirement in 1998 and joined the TDP but did not contest the elections.