New Delhi: With an eye on next year’s assembly elections in Tamil Nadu, BJP has roped former Indian Police Service officer Kuppusamy Annamalai into the party – who has also already indicated that he would like to stand as a candidate in the forthcoming polls.
Kuppusamy Annamalai, a Karnataka cadre police officer, had been described as ‘Singham annamalai’ during his term. He resigned last year in May 2019, when he was posted as deputy commissioner of police (south) Bengaluru.
Former IPS officer Shri Annamalai Kuppuswamy joining the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in an event in New Delhi.@JPNadda@Murugan_TNBJP@annamalai_k@PMuralidharRao pic.twitter.com/z810FmYQII
— BJP Tamilnadu (@BJP4TamilNadu) August 25, 2020
According to a New Indian Express report from 2019, many had speculated about his joining the BJP. While resigning, he had publicly said that he had not yet decided on joining a political party.
In an interview with Indian Express this year in July, the former police officer said that he was waiting for Tamil film superstar Rajinikanth to announce his political roadmap and then he will take a “call” on joining him. He had also praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his policies on GST, demonetisation and the revocation of Article 370.
Kuppuswamy joined BJP in the presence of party national general secretary P. Muralidhar Rao and Tamil Nadu state president L. Murugan in New Delhi on Tuesday.
After his formal induction, Kuppuswamy told Express that BJP was a “natural fit for me because my principles aligned with them”. “They provide a platform to leaders based on merit. It’s a nationalist party with a larger vision for the country, which is why I decided to join them,” he said.
On the next assembly elections, Kuppawamy said that it was up to the party to decide his role. “I want to contest the 2021 elections and I want to represent the Tamil Nadu people, but the party will take a final call. It’s for them to decide…”
He claimed that Dravidian parties have lost their identity. “Many have become family-run enterprises propagating family visions. I can’t imagine myself in a party like that, standing in a queue and expecting the top leader to bless me. A party should each leader the freedom to express their opinions.”
Citing party sources, the Economic Times reported that BJP intends to use him to strengthen the party’s youth wing in all the five southern states.