Lieutenant General (retd) Sarath Chand, former Vice Chief of Army Staff, on Saturday joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at party headquarters in Delhi in presence of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj. Sarath Chand was commissioned into the Garhwal Rifles in June 1979 and retired as vice chief of Indian Army on June 1 last year. Chand has been in active combat leadership roles at every stage of command in the Army.
Speaking to media Chand said, "In today's global scenario, the country needs a strong leadership. After serving the nation for about 38 years, I have never thought that I will join politics, but I was inspired by the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and that is why I am joining BJP".
"I came here to accompany the prime minister and the party and don't want anything in return. As much as the Bharatiya Janata Party has done for the soldiers, I doubt anybody has done it before," he added.
After Lt. Gen. Philip Campose, Chand is the second Malayali to hold the post of Vice Chief of Army Staff. Hailing from Kottarakkara, Chand has been conferred with the Vishisht Seva Medal, the Ati Vishisht Seva Medal, the Uttam Yudh Seva Medal and the Param Vishisht Seva Medal during his tenure.
With less than one week left for the General Elections 2019, several prominent figures and political leaders have been joining parties of their choice or shifting sides. Keeping in mind the vote-bank politics, political biggies are trying to keep the big names under their banner in a bid to shield support from the public.
Seven-phase Lok Sabha Elections is scheduled to be held between April 11 and May 19 while the counting of votes will be taken up on May 23.