New Delhi, Feb 2 : Admired for his text book style of functioning, the new CBI chief Rishi Kumar Shukla's colleagues in Madhya Pradesh admire him for being a 'dutiful cop'.
A low-profile and an easily accessible top cop, even Congress leaders in the state say - Shukla had always "avoided controversy" and usually kept himself confined to the decision of the political leadership - the government he served.
It is this virtue in him that had drawn him close to the BJP stalwart and former Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
None in Bhopal's corridors of power - however - appeared sure on Saturday whether it is his proximity to Shivraj Singh Chouhan or the 'perceived' RSS link that has in the ultimate helped Shukla get the coveted assignment.
Mr Shukla had in the past also confronted with the RSS during Shivraj Singh Chouhan regime only.
In 2016, the state police had a 'row or minor confabulation' with the Sangh parivar fountainhead and a RSS functionary was picked up by the police at Balaghat.
"But, in the police force we know our former DGP Shukla saheb as a man, who stood by the men in Khakhi and not otherwise despite some pressure," an informed source told UNI from Bhopal.
Top police sources in Madhya Pradesh also say that new Chief Minister Kamal Nath was apparently 'unhappy' with Mr Shukla as recently an IT cell Congress worker Abhishek Mishra was "picked up" by Delhi police in January based on some complaints against him.
The Congress leaders were left fuming as the Madhya Pradesh police either did not have any clue of cops from national capital either visiting the state or the 'inputs' were ignored by Mr Shukla.
It is paradoxical that at the personal intervention of new Chief Minister, Mr Shukla was shunted out as DGP and asked to head MP Police Housing and Infrastructure Development Corporation and it was only on January 30, 2019 that he took over the charge of MP police housing body.
"He is a capable man and very humble senior officer, I have served under him. I am sure he will live up to the expectations and bring laurels to the new organisation (CBI) he will serve," Sarbjeet Singh, a retired IPS officer and former Chairman of Madhya Pradesh Police Housing And Infrastructure Development Corporation, told UNI over phone.
Others, however, say he had 'connections' in RSS headquarter at Nagpur and more than other things, it was the primary reason that had endeared him to the former Chief Minister Chouhan.
The former Chief Minister Chouhan trusted Mr Shukla so much that even during his two month long sick leave on health ground no regular DGP was appointed and he was allowed to join the post just on the eve of elections.
According to sources, 15 names were considered for the new CBI chief by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led panel and among others, DG BSF Rajni Kant Mishra, NIA chief YC Modi and DG CRPF RR Bhatnagar and a few other officers besides Mr Shukla were considered.
The appointment of new CBI chief has been necessitated after government had decided to move out Alok Verma from the post.
The second meeting of the panel also comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Congress floor leader Mallikarjun Kharge could not arrive at a name in their second meeting on Friday.
Mr Kharge is said to have been expressed his unhappiness over the appointment of Shukla to the top post.
Madhya Pradesh Congress spokesman Pankaj Chaturvedi - when contacted said - "I know him as non controversial officer and thus my hopes are that Mr Shukla will give new prestige to the CBI and take it out from the image of being easily misused as has been the case under Narendra Modi".
Police sources in the state also say that Shukla is a tennis and badminton freak and has shown liking for physical fitness.
Police officials in Madhya Pradesh recall with pride Mr Rishi Kumar Shukla's comments to civil society: "All of you may attack police and may even act against police, stage demonstration against us in 364 days in the year. But please show us some respect and pay homage to martyrs on October 21, the Police Commemoration Day".
A native of Gwalior, in his long career Mr Shukla has served in various capacities including in Raipur and onetime Naxal inhabited Durg region in united Madhya Pradesh in 1986-87.(UNI)