MUMBAI: Former encounter specialist police officer Pradeep Sharma is back in the news. Not for any blood shed, but for his speculated entry in politics.
According to a source, Sharma is likely to join the Shiv Sena soon. The party might consider fielding him in the upcoming Legislative Assembly elections from the Andheri East constituency.
“Sharma is in touch with our leaders and discussing his possible induction in the party. If he joins us, he will be a strong candidate in Andheri East, where around 40 per cent voters are migrants from Uttar Pradesh and Bihar,” a party insider said. Shiv Sena’s Ramesh Latke had lost the 2009 elections to Congress candidate Suresh Shetty, who is currently state Health Minister, by a margin of 5,000 votes from Andheri East.
Sharma’s interests in politics became public when he campaigned for his mentor, former Mumbai Police Commissioner Satya Pal Singh, in Baghpat in Uttar Pradesh in the recently-held Lok Sabha elections. When contacted, Sharma denied the news, saying they were just speculations.
“I have applied for rejoining the police force. Politics is not my cup of tea. It all started since I campaigned for Satya Pal saheb. I think some people are deliberately spreading the news about my entry into politics to stop me from rejoining the force,” he told Express. Sharma, who has 114 encounters to his credit, was a blue-eyed boy of the Shiv Sena chief, the late Bal Thackeray. Though he comes from Agra in UP, Thackeray used to tell that he was proud of two Maharashtrian police officers, Pradeep Sharma and Daya Nayak, another high profile encounter specialist.