Thiruvananthapuram: Former Congress lawmaker A.P. Abdullakutty who joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in June this year was on Tuesday appointed as the vice-president of the BJP in Kerala.
This was announced here in the state capital by state BJP president P.S. Sreedharan Pillai who said the appointment has been made following a directive from the national party leadership.
Abdullakutty, 52, who has also been a former member of the ruling CPI-M, began his political career from the CPI-M's student wing. He came into prominence by defeating current Kerala Congress chief Mullapally Ramachandran twice - in 1999 and 2004 - from the Kannur Lok Sabha seat.
In 2009, the CPI-M sacked him from the party amid mounting differences and also because he praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Gujarat development model when the latter was the Chief Minister of the state.
Abdullakutty won the Kannur Assembly by-election in 2009 as a Congress candidate and repeated his victory in 2011, but in 2016, lost the polls from the Thalassery seat.
Since that time, he has been keeping a distance from the Congress, and in June this year, he joined the BJP describing himself as a "nationalist Muslim".
"This new appointment is a huge responsibility that has been bestowed on me. The BJP has a bright future in Kerala and will now be here always," Abdullakutty said.