Elated on being appointed Telangana Governor, BJP leader Tamilisai Soundararajan on Sunday said her father, a Congress veteran, would be happy about her decision to choose the path she wanted to tread (join BJP).
Her father Kumari Ananthan is a veteran Congress leader and had been the state party chief. Recently, he was detained along with party leaders while taking part in a protest against former Union minister P Chidambarams arrest by CBI in the INX Media case.
“…I chose BJP despite growing up as daughter of a Congress leader…Biggest challenge in my life was to stay determined about my decision to join BJP and make a mark for myself without any hurdles,” Soundararajan told reporters here.
A doctor by profession, Soundararajan said it was a choice she had to choose between her fathers and her own path. “Today my father will be happy for my decision,” she added.
The 58-year-old leader, who lost the Thoothukudi Lok Sabha seat in the 2019 general elections to DMK’s Kanimozhi, said she would proudly quit the state BJP leadership as she was instrumental in taking the party membership to 44.5 lakh in the state.
“I would be quitting as the state party president with that happiness,” she said, vowing to focus on development of Telangana.
Soundararajan, in a tweet, expressed her gratitude to Modi, Shah and other party leaders. “My most sincere thanks to Shri. Narendramodiji for giving me an opportunity to serve as Governor of Telangana my sincere thanks to @AmitShah and for all those who have been supportive to me in my political career.I feel this as an opportunity to serve the nation,” she said.
Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla congratulated Soundararajan. “…I am sure that state of Telangana will scale new heights of development under your leadership,” he tweeted.
A host of leaders, including DMK president M K Stalin, from Tamil Nadu also greeted Soundararajan on her appointment to the gubernatorial post. “Greetings to sister Tamilisai Soundararajan, who comes from a traditional political family, for her appointment as Telangana Governor,” Stalin tweeted, adding he believed she would uphold the country’s Constitution.
In a statement, state Congress President KS Alagiri said amid sharp differences of opinion based on ideologies, Soundararajan maintained civility in expressing her views. “Her appointment as the Governor is appropriate,” he said.
Former Union minister and BJP leader Pon Radhakrishnan and DMK MP Kanimozhi also extended their greetings to Soundararajan.
Soundararajan comes from a family with roots in Congress. Besides her father, her uncle H Vasanth Kumar is a Congress Lok Sabha member, but she was attracted to the ideology of BJP. She was a student leader while doing her MBBS course at the Madras Medical College in Chennai.
Specialised in obsterics and gynaecology, she started her career as a gynaecologist. Soundararajan, whose husband is also a doctor, forayed into full-time politics by joining the BJP and held various positions starting from South Chennai District Medical Wing Secretary in 1999. She never looked back since then and became the party’s state president in 2014.