Director General of Police Jacob Thomas is likely to contest to the Lok Sabha from the Chalakudy constituency.
His ‘imminent’ wild card entry into electoral politics is likely to disrupt what appears to be a set piece battle between Left Independent and actor Innocent, United Democratic Front convener Benny Behanan, Roy Arackal of the Social Democratic Party of India and A. N. Radhakrishnan of the Bharatiya Janata Party.
Sabu M. Thomas, businessman and president of Twenty20 Kizhakambalam (T20K), a registered political party, told The Hindu that Mr. Thomas has to surmount a few legal hitches. For one, the government has to accept his resignation and relieve him in time to file the nomination papers.
Mr. Sabu, the owner of a major textile brand in Kerala, launched T20K in 2013 as part of his company’s social responsibility initiative in Kizhakambalam, a suburb of Kochi in Ernakulam district, where his manufacturing hub is based.
In 2015, T20K made an off-centre entry into local body politics and captured 17 of the total 19 wards in the Kizhakambalam grama panchayat on a plank of clean water, good roads, zero waste and sustainable development. The T20K hopes to bank on Mr. Thomas’s social media image as a hard-charging anti-corruption crusader to win Chalakudy. Mr. Sabu said the party’s support at the Centre would be purely issue-based. The DGP was not immediately available for comment.
In 2017, the Pinarayi Vijayan government posted the 1985 batch officer as head of the Vigilance and Anti-Corruption Bureau. In service, Mr. Thomas had raised public hopes to counter corruption that he almost became emblematic of the crusade.
However, he soon became estranged from the government and emerged as one of its sharpest critics. The State removed him from the post of Vigilance Director, overlooked his seniority and posted Loknath Behera as the State Police Chief and later suspended him on the charge of undermining the administration.
The DGP was also facing the charge of bid rigging as the Ports Director.