Thiruvananthapuram: Known as ‘Albhuthakutty’ (miracle child) in the state’s political circles, when AP Abdullakutty joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) earlier this year, not many were surprised. But four months later, when the 52-year-old Kannur resident was made the vice-president of the party’s state unit, quite a few eyebrows were raised.
“This is a huge responsibility that has been bestowed on me. The BJP has a bright future in Kerala and is here to stay for good,” Abdullakutty said on Tuesday after taking charge.
Abdullakutty began his political career with the Student Federation of India, the youth wing of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M).
Though the district was hailed as a Red bastion, the Kannur Lok Sabha Seat remained elusive to the Communists. In 1999, the party leadership tasked Abdullakutty, then state president of SFI, with the daunting task of romping home the seat.
The Congress, whose Mullapally Ramachandran had been the local MP since 1984, took the challenge on a lighter note and referred to the opponent as a ‘kutty’ (child). However, the seemingly greenhorn won the ticket to Delhi and repeated the feat in 2004 by a much bigger margin.
As his relation with the party started to worsen, he praised the Gujarat development model and then chief minister Narendra Modi in a television interview, following which he was removed from the party.
Though many thought he would embrace the saffron party soon after, Abdullakutty had other plans. He joined the Congress a month later and went on to win the Kannur Assembly by-election in 2009.
He again won the seat in 2011. In 2016, he was pushed to the Thalassery seat where he tasted his first defeat ever since he entered electoral politics. Since then he had been maintaining a distance from the Congress and only surfaced with a Facebook post after the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in praise of Modi.
“An interesting factor that makes him (Modi) so popular is that he (has) inculcated Gandhian values in his governance,” read his post. A few hours after the FB post, Ramachandran, who is now heading the Kerala Congress unit, asked him to resign from the party.
On June 29, Abdullakutty was welcomed into the BJP fold by the party’s working president, JP Nadda, when the former described himself as a “nationalist Muslim”.