Former IAS officer S Sashikanth Senthil who resigned from civil services in 2019 protesting the government’s policies has now confirmed that he would be taking the political plunge and joining the Tamil Nadu Congress. Confirming the news to TNM, Sashikanth says, “I resigned in protest of all that has been happening in the country and the way in which the central government is taking us.” He adds, “I now feel the time is right to push for a political solution and to bring everyone together. I feel Congress is the platform for me where I can operate and try to get a political solution. That is the reason why I made this decision.”
A 2009 batch Karnataka cadre IAS officer and Deputy Commissioner of Dakshina Kannada district at the time of his resignation in September last year, Sashikanth says that Congress leaders are happy to have him in the party and that he would be a part of its organisational structure. “I will not be a typical MLA, MP. I will work towards elections and spread the values of Congress. I see that my important duty is to bring everyone together, as society or individuals, towards the political solution. I believe in 2024 we will surely create a dent,” he shares.
At the time of quitting, Sashikanth had said that there was a "framework of fascism" developing in the country and that there was “no space for rational debate”. During his years in the civil service, Sashikanth earned a reputation for being a no-nonsense bureaucrat and was admired by his peers for his fairness in administration. Yet, even after serving for about 10 years, Sashikanth felt that the state of public affairs in the country was 'genuinely worrying’ and that he had to quit in order to make a change.
At the time, Sashikanth had said that there were no indicators of him joining politics since he belonged to the academic group. "The pattern is very clear to me and I will be working outside of the bureaucracy to inform the common public about this with clarity. But, there is no question of joining politics since I belong in the academic field,” he had said.
Earlier this year, in August, former IPS officer K Annamalai joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in Tamil Nadu and later was appointed vice president of the Tamil Nadu BJP unit. Tamil Nadu politics may soon see the two former bureaucrats, Sashikanth and Annamalai, face off in the coming days.