Abdullakutty to Anil Antony: Congress leaders from Kerala who have joined BJP

L-R: AP Abdullakutty, Raman Nair, Tom Vadakkan and Anil Antony. Photos: Manorama

In 2018, then BJP state president PS Sreedharan Pillai said that prominent Congress leaders will join his party in the coming years.

Five years since, at least four notable names have left Congress and joined BJP, the latest being Anil Antony, son of former Defence Minister AK Antony.

BJP's first major recruitment in Kerala since Pillai made the statement was G Raman Nair. He had joined the saffron party along with four others, the biggest name on the list was the former chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), G Madhavan Nair.

But Raman Nair being a veteran Congressman and former president of the Travancore Devaswom Board had also made the headlines. He had been suspended by the Congress party for attending a BJP event. Nair was made the state vice president the same year.

The next year, the BJP landed two big fish -- Tom Vadakkan and AP Abdullakutty.

Abdullakutty had been an SFI leader and a CPM member before his expulsion in 2009, and subsequent move to the Congress corner.

After a decade with the Congress, the former MP and MLA courted controversy by praising the policies of the Centre government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He was expelled from Congress in June 2019 and joined BJP the same month.

Vadakkan had been a close aide of Sonia Gandhi and a Congress spokesperson. He is now a national spokesperson of the BJP and its national executive committee member.

Abdullakutty has had the biggest leap. He is chairman of the Hajj Committee of India and one of the national vice presidents of the party.

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