After months of speculation over his entry into politics, former Karnataka IPS officer Annamalai Kuppusamy, popularly referred to as ‘Singham Annamalai’, joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the presence of party national general secretary P Muralidhar Rao and Tamil Nadu state president L Murugan in New Delhi on Tuesday.
Hailing from Karur in Tamil Nadu, the former Karnataka cadre IPS officer has served as Deputy Commissioner of Police in Bengaluru South as well as Superintendent of Police in Udupi and Chikmagalur districts. After serving as a police officer for many years, Kuppusamy quit his job following the death of a close friend in 2019. He then took to organic farming in his hometown, and also started the ‘We the Leaders Foundation’ to help youth acquire better job opportunities.
Speaking to IndianExpress.com, Kuppusamy said his decision to join the BJP was taken a week ago. He said he was entering politics as the country needed better governance, and there was a need to put the common man at the centre of the narrative.
“In the past, I’ve said I didn’t want to get labeled with any party. But, over a period of time, I started feeling the country needed a political change as much as a social change. I felt the 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 told IndianExpress.com.
Kuppusamy said Dravidian parties had lost their identity, and family politics was deep-rooted. “(Dravidian parties) have forgotten why they emerged. 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. It should stand for a larger vision, and should put the common man at the centre of its narrative.
“I am a common man, I am a farmer’s son, I don’t have any backing, I don’t have a lot of money. Whatever I have saved is my hard-earned money through government service and my records speak about my honesty. So, I can’t join a Dravidian party where corruption is deep-rooted. Without expecting anything, a national party like BJP is welcoming me into their fold which shows their intention to bringing about change,” he added.
A month ago, Kuppusamy had said he was waiting for Rajinikanth to announce his plans, and would take a call on joining the actor’s party. When asked about his sudden change of plans, Kuppusamy said, “I have nothing against Rajinikanth… let him come up with a plan. It is just that I am looking at a larger cause and direction.”
Asked about the 2021 Tamil Nadu elections, Kuppusamy said, “I will do whatever the BJP asks of me. 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…”
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