Mr. Annamalai, who is a native of Tamil Nadu, said the BJP has been misrepresented in the State and that he would work towards bringing clarity on its stands
Former Karnataka IPS officer K. Annamalai, who quit the police force last year, is set to join the BJP on Tuesday afternoon in the presence of party president J.P. Nadda in Delhi.
A 2011 batch officer and native of Tamil Nadu, Mr. Annamalai, who served as Deputy Commissioner of Police (South), Bengaluru when he tendered his resignation, said he is joining the BJP as a political change and social change is needed in Tamil Nadu and that the BJP has been misrepresented in the State.
In a telephonic interview before his formal induction into the party, Mr. Annamalai told The Hindu that he initially toyed with the idea of running a foundation and not have any political labels attached to him.
“But in the last couple of months, I felt that a political change is as important and necessary as a social change. They have to go together. The moment I wanted to get into politics, I was looking for a party which naturally suits me — I am a nobody, I am a farmer’s son. Only by merit I have come this far in life. I like a party which promotes meritocracy and which is like nationalistic in character. I have been very open that I am a big fan of [Prime Minister] Modiji,” he said.
The former police officer, who was referred to as ‘Singham’ during his stint at Manipal, Karnataka, said he was also looking at a party with nationalistic character. When asked if other parties were not nationalistic, he added, “Nationalism is being portrayed in a wrong manner nowadays. It means a party that stands for the common man. The same argument can be made for other political parties as well,” he said. But, he charged, the Dravidian parties had become like family-run enterprises and stopped caring for the common citizens.
“There are some things a party shouldn’t compromise on — internal, external security while allowing for fresh blood in its ranks where a Tamil is as important as a Punjabi or a Gujarati. All these combined, is nationalist,” he said.
According to him, the BJP has been misrepresented in the State. “BJP always stands for Tamils. Given a chance, I would like to be the voice of the Tamil people and take Tamil Nadu issues to the party high command,” he added.
Mr. Annamalai said he supports the National Education Policy, 2020 and that the controversy over the imposition of Hindi was unfounded. “No language should be imposed on Tamil Nadu. I am clear on that stand. But Tamil Nadu [people] have to learn many languages so that the State can be represented better outside the region. The NEP says that students can pick up any two other Indian languages which is a welcome step. If you look at the NEP, Hindi is mentioned only once. There is a lot of misrepresentation happening here,” he felt.
‘Clarity on Rajini’s political foray’
On earlier reports of his plans to join actor Rajinikanth’s proposed political outfit, Mr. Annamalai said he had met the Tamil superstar only to discuss spiritual issues. “We have got the clarity with regard to his political stand which he has to tell [the people]. He has got a timing in his mind, a vision of his own and he will probably do that,” he added. When asked what the ‘clarity’ was about Mr. Rajini’s political foray, he said it was for the actor to explain and he had not discussed politics with him.
Known for being tough on illegal and criminal activities during his stint as an IPS officer, Mr. Annamalai would have to share the BJP Tamil Nadu platform with a number of persons with criminal antecedents, who have been roped into the unit recently. Mr. Annamalai said the party State president had clarified that they might have been roped in without their antecedents being checked. “Criminalisation of politics should be avoided at any cost. For good politics, it is very important,” he said.