Captain Gopinath, budget airline pioneer, joins Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party

Written by PTI | Bangalore | Updated: Jan 4 2014, 04:00am hrs
Captain Gopinath, AAP, Captain Gopinath AAPKarnataka AAP sources said Captain Gopinath officially became a member of the party.
Exemplifying growing political activism of top professionals and corporate figures, Captain Gopinath, who pioneered the low-cost airline business in the country, has today joined Arvind Kejriwal's Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

Gopinath jumped on the bandwagon close on the heels of former Infosys board member V Balakrishnan joining AAP recently, a move that came as a surprise as much as his exit from the software major.

"Yes. I have joined the party...I'm now officially the member of AAP," Gopinath said.

"I was always a sympathiser and part of the Anna movement, of which Kejriwal was an integral part," he added.

Karnataka AAP sources said Gopinath officially became a member of the party today.

"Corruption is one among the fundamental issues this country is facing; Anna's movement gave us a hope for change from the corrupt system, and Kejriwal's AAP is seen transforming that hope into action," said Gopinath.

"So I have always been part of this movement and have known AAP leaders."

Stating that he had always been politically active, Gopinath, who founded companies like Air Deccan, Deccan Charters and Deccan 360, reminded that he had contested and lost 2009 Lok Sabha elections as an Independent candidate.

Without giving any clear indications about his electoral aspiration, he said "....I will play active role in the party, its cause and for its victory in elections."

Bangalore's corporate circle has been showing keen interest in political activism for which Gopinath and Balakrisnan are new inclusion.

Former Infosys top executive Mohandas Pai, now Chairman of the Manipal Global Education Services, and BT major Bicon's Kiran Mazumdar Shaw are part of Bangalore Political Action Committee (BPAC), a forum that not only financially supports the candidates but also campaigns for them.

IT honcho and Unique Identification Authority of India Chairman Nandan Nilekani's interest to contest the Lok Sabha polls from Bangalore South was recently confirmed by the Karnataka PCC President G Parameshwara.

Meanwhile, after a dream debut in Delhi Assembly polls, the Aam Aadmi Party today launched a membership drive in Bellary and claimed that 12,000 people have registered with it.

"As of now, we have made 12,000 registrations, out of which 2,000 is through SMS," AAP District coordinator Vijay Pathi told reporters.

He said: "we are studying local issues; nationalisation of mining and development of Hyderabad-Karnataka region is on top of our agenda."

Bellary district had been in the national limelight for rampant illegal mining.

AAP's North Karnataka coordinator Vijay Sharma said "Party will be soon starting such membership registration drive in other districts as well."