Almost a fortnight after former bureaucrat K P Ramaiah took voluntary retirement from the Indian Administrative Service, he is ready to take on Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, a former Indian Foreign Service officer, in the Lok Sabha polls from the Sasaram seat in Bihar.
Bihar's ruling Janata Dal-United on Saturday announced his candidature from Sasaram, a parliamentary constituency reserved for the Scheduled Caste. Ramaiah was principal secretary of SC and ST department before taking VRS.
Ramaiah, a 1986 batch Bihar cadre IAS and a native of Andhra Pradesh, who was behind Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar's innovative model of 'Mahadalit', poorest of the poor among Dalits, told rediff.com that his political battle is a tough challenge, as he has decided to take on a heavyweight.
"It is my first political battle as I am contesting for the first time. I’m sure the people will support and vote for me because I will be available for them most of the time to help them,” Ramiah said.
Early this month, when Ramiah formally joined the JD-U, he said that he entered politics inspired and impressed by the work of development by Nitish Kumar in Bihar.
Ramiah is fluent in Hindi as well as manages to speak Bhojpuri, a local Hindi dialect, as he has spent nearly three decades in Bihar.
Meira Kumar's father, veteran Dalit leader Jagjivan Ram, represented Sasaram in the Lok Sabha for decades.
Meira Kumar joined the IFS in 1973. She was elected from Sasaram in 2004 and 2009.
BJP has fielded Chedi Paswan, who joined the party after resigning from the JD-U.
Image: Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar