Actor Devan was among a number of new entrants to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday when he merged his 17-year-old political outfit, the Kerala People’s Party (KPP), with the BJP State unit.
The merger was announced in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah at the valedictory of the Vijay Yatra led by the party’s State president K. Surendran. Others who joined the BJP on Friday included actor Radha and her husband and businessman Rajasekharan Nair, former KPCC secretary Pandalam Prathapan, former bureaucrat K.V. Balakrishnan, and Vinu Kiriyath.
Mr. Devan said his decision to merge the KPP with the BJP was taken on advice from various quarters, including sections with the Muslim and Christian communities, that he should not stand alone.
“I formed the Kerala People’s Party on March 21, 2004. It has been like a daughter to me. Now that daughter has turned 17,” he said. Losses in two elections had made him aware that a film celebrity stood scant chance in elections in Kerala. This had prompted him to work closely with the minorities, he said. Mr. Devan, who has acted in numerous Malayalam, Tamil, and Telugu movies, said the BJP was assured of a massive public support this time in Kerala.