Former IAS officer U Sagayam confirmed his entry into active politics just months after he resigned from service. He announced his decision at a political meeting at Chennaiâ€™s Adambakkam on Sunday, where hundreds of his fans and followers congregated to watch him speak. It is, however, unclear if Sagayam will float his own party or join an existing one.
According to reports, U Sagayam told his followers to break the barriers of caste and religion in politics and avoid hero worship. He requested his followers to stay simple and honest like former Chief MInisters of Tamil Nadu K Kamaraj and CN Annadurai and former minister Kakkan. Sagayam, who was transferred 25 times in the first 27 years of his service, came into the spotlight for his probe against illegal granite quarrying in Madurai district. Emphasising the need for sacrifice, empathy and dedication while working for the people, Sagayam urged his followers to love all people including those in the bottom rung of the society and work for their benefit.
Sagayam opted for voluntary retirement in October 2020, just months before Tamil Naduâ€™s Assembly polls, which fueled speculations that he will soon enter electoral politics. He was serving as the Vice Chairman of Science City, Chennai at the time of his retirement and also was heading â€˜Makkal Padhaiâ€™, a trust that aims at reforming the society.
Known for his honest work, Sagayam started off his career as an employee of the Union Government but soon quit to write the Tamil Nadu government service exams, with the intention to serve the people of Tamil Nadu. In recognition for his honesty, the Election Commission of India (ECI) posted him as the District Collector of Madurai, a constituency where allegations of bribery had surfaced.
He became a household name after he took on the granite mining mafia in the district after an RTI response revealed that he had sent a report to his senior officials regarding massive swindling of money by granite quarry operators in Madurai. He was soon transferred out to head Cooptex. However, the Madras High Court appointed him as the legal commissioner to continue his probe on granite quarrying and mining in the district. As the legal commissioner, he brought to light several scams related to granite quarrying and had also received many threats.