NEW DELHI: Former Bengaluru Police Commissioner Bhaskar Rao has joined the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in presence of party convener and Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, giving a boost to the party’s prospects in Karnataka.
Along with Rao, a number of other people joined the AAP at the party headquarters here on Sunday.
Rao said he was deeply impressed with the welfare schemes implemented by the AAP government in Delhi. “Seeing all this great work which was done by the AAP Government in education, health, and in ensuring a sense of security for the common people, I was thoroughly impressed,” he said.
“I’m very impressed with leadership of Arvind Kejriwal, looking at the administration in Delhi in last 6-7 years,” he added.
He said he will work to strengthen the party in Karnataka, stating that the “most progress-oriented state” had a plenty of scope for improvement in its administration.
“We wish to make sure that the people of Karnataka win above all else, to bring about a change in their lives. We will now get ahead with the motto of ‘Baatein Kam Kaam Zyada’, our work will speak for itself as it has for Arvind Kejriwal in Delhi,” he said.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Kejriwal said, “I am confident that Bhaskar Rao will prove to be an asset to AAP and will strengthen its foothold in not just Karnataka, but the entire country. A well-connected leader like Bhaskar Rao, who is already familiar with issues faced by the people of Karnataka, is an important addition to AAP’s movement in the state.”
AAP’s Karnataka unit convener Prithvi Reddy, election in-charge for the state and Timarpur MLA Dilip Pandey, organisation secretary Damodaran and other leaders were present on the occasion.
Rao, who was serving as the Additional Director General of Police (Railways), had resigned from the service in September last year, citing personal reasons.
He demitted his office on Friday to join the AAP after the Karnataka government accepted his resignation and relieved him of his duties.
Rao’s joining is seen as a shot in the arm of the AAP with the Arvind Kejriwal-led party preparing for the Karnataka Assembly elections next year, starting with the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (Greater Bengaluru Municipal Corporation) polls this year.
The party leaders believe that the popularity and clout of the former IPS officer would help the AAP better execute its expansion plan in the run up to the assembly elections in the state, currently ruled by the BJP.
The AAP had contested the Karnataka assembly polls for the first time in 2018, fielding candidates in 28 out of total 124 assembly seats, but could not open its account.
Riding high on its stupendous victory in Punjab, the party is hoping to gain its toehold in the southern state this time.
During his service, Rao held various positions and served as Bengaluru Police Commissioner, State Transport Commissioner and Additional Director General of Police (ADGP)-Internal Security.
He received the President’s Police Medal for Distinguished Service in 2015, Police Medal for Meritorious Service in 2008 and United Nations Medal for the Services rendered in International Peacekeeping in a warzone in 2000.