Retired IPS officer and AAP leader Bhaskar Rao joined the ruling BJP in Bengaluru on March 1 ahead of Assembly elections in Karnataka.
He was inducted in the party by BJP State president Nalin Kumar Kateel, who handed over a party flag to him, at a programme at the party office in Bengaluru.
Bhaskar Rao had taken voluntary retirement in 2022 and joined the AAP. His quitting the AAP comes days ahead of AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal’s visit to Karnataka on March 4.
Mr. Rao described the BJP as a party that believes in national spirit and sanaatana dharma. “I have belief in national spirit and sanaatana dharma since my childhood,” Mr. Rao claimed.
He alleged that though he was associated with the AAP for about a year, he felt that the party did not have the capability to grow in Karnataka. He described the BJP as the only party that can protect the integrity of the country.
Mr. Rao, who has served as the police commissioner of Bengaluru city, said he would execute whatever responsibility was entrusted to him by the BJP leadership.
A few leaders from the AAP too joined the BJP along with Mr. Rao.
Mr. Rao deserting the AAP is being seen as an embarrassment to the party as he had become the prominent face of the party. He was being projected as the AAP candidate for Basavanagudi Assembly constituency. The ruling party is said to be trying to make a political point during the visit of Mr. Kejriwal to Karnataka by enrolling AAP’s prominent faces in the BJP.
Mr. Kateel described Mr. Rao as an efficient police officer and said that he had joined the BJP to serve the country through politics.