Sasikanth Senthil, the IAS officer who resigned protesting the ‘fascist’ policies of the Central government, joins Congress

Published : November 09, 2020 19:03 IST

Sasikanth Senthil after he joined the Congress party on November 9 in Chennai. Photo: K.V. Srinivasan

Sasikanth Senthil, the former Indian Administrative Services (IAS) officer, joined the Indian National Congress party in Chennai on November 9. Senthil joined the Congress in the presence of Tamil Nadu Congress Committee president K.S. Alagiri and the former president of the Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee Dinesh Gundu Rao. The Karnataka-cadre IAS officer who is originally from Tamil Nadu had resigned from the elite bureaucratic service on September 6, 2019 when he was the Deputy Commissioner of Dakshina Kannada District.

In his resignation letter at the time, he had stated that “it is unethical for me to continue as a civil servant in the government when the fundamental building blocks of our diverse democracy are being compromised in an unprecedented manner. I also feel strongly that the coming days will present extremely difficult challenges to the basic fabric of our nation and that I would be better off outside the IAS to continue with my work at making life better for all.”

Coming soon after the resignation of Kannan Gopinathan, another IAS officer who had resigned in August 2019 after the revocation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, it was clear that Senthil’s resignation was also motivated by his opposition to the policies of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government that was ruling at the Centre. In interviews and speeches in public forums after his resignation, Senthil made it clear that he took the extreme action because of the “fascist” policies of the Central government. Active in protests against the government’s promulgation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, Senthil was a popular speaker at these events. In one such protest meeting, he stated: “According to me, my resignation was an act of patriotism. Sitting quietly when fascism rears its head is an act of treason.”

After he announced his decision to join the Congress on Sunday, Senthil stated that he was joining the party as it was the only party “capable of challenging the BJP nationally”. “I took the decision to join the Congress three weeks ago. I did not join the Congress for any post within the party nor do I aspire to contest any election. I want to work for the party,” he said.

Incidentally, P. Annamalai, an Indian Police Service (IPS) officer from Karnataka, had resigned from the service in 2019 and had joined the BJP. He was appointed the vice president of the party in Tamil Nadu in August earlier this year.

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