Slain smuggler Veerappan's daughter joins BJP, says she believes in Modi's schemes

Vidya Rani told TNM that her decision to join the party was influenced by Pon Radhakrishnan who suggested that she do so two years back.
Slain smuggler Veerappan's daughter joins BJP, says she believes in Modi's schemes
Slain smuggler Veerappan's daughter joins BJP, says she believes in Modi's schemes

The daughter of slain sandalwood smuggler Veerappan joined the BJP on Saturday as part of a membership drive in Krishnagiri district. Twenty-nine-year-old Vidya Rani, a lawyer, told the media present there that she had joined the party after being inspired by the BJP's welfare schemes. BJP's general secretary Muralidhar Rao and former Union Minister Pon Radhakrishnan were present at the event where 1,000 people were reportedly inducted into the party.

"I wanted to be very active doing work for the people of my state. I want to meaningfully address an individual's everyday problems – especially their earnings and basic needs. Modiji has brought a lot of schemes for education, industry and agriculture and this inspired me to join the BJP," she told TNM.

She also praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi and said that his schemes were for the people and that she would help take them to the masses. When she was addressing members after joining the party she acknowledged that while her father's intentions were admirable, his path had been different.

"My father had the right intentions but circumstances forced him to take a different route. But his basic intention was to do good for the people around him. His parting words to me were to work for the people. It was an emotional moment,” she said.

The idea to join the BJP first came to her two years back, when in a chance meeting with Pon Radhakrishnan, she was asked to join the party, she said.

"He said you should focus on national service by joining the party. Since then, I have been observing the BJP and took a liking to their work, " she said. When asked about criticism against the party over the Citizenship Amendment Act, she said, "All parties will face certain criticisms. I only see the development side and how I can contribute. I think I can do my best in this party."

Vidya is waiting for the party to now give her responsibilities. She is currently running training centres for students who are looking to write NEET and JEE.

Vidya had last been in the news in 2011 when she was 21 years old. Her husband Mariya Deepak had approached the court alleging that Vidya had been kept in illegal custody by her mother Muthulakshmi because the family opposed their inter-caste marriage. He filed a habeas corpus in the Madras Court demanding that his wife be produced in person.

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