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Another milestone for Suresh Gopi: Kerala’s first BJP MP set to become Union Minister

Actor-turned-politician Suresh Gopi who is the the first BJP Lok Sabha MP from Kerala is slated to join Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Council of Ministers on Sunday.

For Gopi, this is a reward for the promise he made to his electorate in the Thrissur seat. “A Union Minister for Thrissur, Modi’s guarantee” was the slogan he deployed at campaign meetings and public interactions, and it adorned the walls of Thrissur in the run-up to the polls.

On Sunday, before leaving for Delhi, Gopi told the media at the Thiruvananthapuram airport: “This (a Cabinet berth) is Modi’s decision. He called me and asked me to be at his home at 11.30 am. I am obeying. I do not know anything else. I will be an MP working for Kerala and Tamil Nadu. I had already told people of Thrissur during the campaign.”

Following his win from Thrissur by 74,000 votes, Gopi’s Cabinet berth is also another milestone for the party. In the previous NDA governments, the BJP had ministers from Kerala but they were all Rajya Sabha MPs elected from other states. For example, P C Thomas who is the leader of the defunct Indian Federal Democratic Party served as a Union Minister of State (MoS) from 2003-’04 in Atal Bihar Vajpayee’s government.

Gopi, 65, has only been in the BJP for eight years. But his victory is now a lesson for Kerala BJP, which has been toiling over the years to end the state’s bipolar electoral politics between the CPI(M) and the Congress.

A popular Malayalam actor with 250 films under his belt, he was nominated as a Rajya Sabha member in April 2016 by the President under the category of eminent personalities. He joined the BJP just months later in October 2016.

At the time, it was a rarity for film professionals in Kerala to foray into active politics.

Read more on indianexpress.com