Absconding accused R Ezhilarasi aka Meera joined the Bharatiya Janata Party on Wednesday, January 20. She has more than 12-15 cases including the murder of former Puducherry Legislative Assembly Speaker, VMC Sivakumar, pending against her.
She called on Puducherry BJP unit president V Saminathan at an undisclosed location on the Puducherry-Tamil Nadu border and officially joined the party in the presence of general secretary Embalam R Selvam, Times Of India reported.
Ezhilarasi has been declared an 'absconding accused' in the Puducherry Assembly Speaker murder case. Apart from this, she has been booked for three murders, an attempt to murder and extortions. The extortion case against her was filed last year in December.
She was acquitted in the attempt to murder case, while the other cases are in the trial before different courts.
After receiving massive criticism, the party's local functionaries defended the move, saying that there are no restrictions on anyone who wants to join the party. The party functionaries opined that Ezhilarasi's criminal background would not tarnish the party's image.
"She enrolled herself as a member of the party online and made a courtesy call on the local functionaries on Wednesday. Anyone can become a member of BJP. We have not given her any position in the party," Selvam was quoted as saying.
He said that the police had booked various politicians of other parties, including Congress over serious crimes, one of them being a murder accused, who was on the run for nine months but was later given a ticket by the party in 2016 to contest the assembly polls.
It was declared in the accused's affidavit that he was booked on murder charges. Despite that, he went on to win the elections and is currently the legislative assembly member, Selvam added.
"It's the people's mandate, let people decide," he said. BJP district general secretary P Appu Manikandan said that people supported Ezhilarasi, which is an essential factor in politics.