Low-cost aviation pioneer in India Captain Gopinath joins Aam Aadmi Party

Low-cost aviation pioneer GR Gopinath, better known as Captain Gopinath who started Air Deccan, has joined new political force Aam Aadmi party (AAP), as per a report in The Economic Times.

This comes a day after former Infosys CFO V Balakrishnan joined AAP, a startup political party which shook the political system in the world’s largest democracy by attaining near majority in the elections in Delhi. AAP formed the government in the state with outside support of Congress.

"I expressed my interest in joining the AAP three weeks back. I was always part of Anna movement when (Arvind) Kejriwal-Anna (Hazare) were together. India's problems are due to corruption; in that sense my heart was always with the cause. I was part of the movement when the protests happened; so I have known AAP leaders for a long time," Captain Gopinath told ET NOW.

When asked by ET reporters if that experience would make him averse to contesting elections, he said, "I am okay to contest but it's a decision that has to be taken at the right time. My role is not clear yet."

Gopinath, who sold his budget airline Air Deccan to Kingfisher in 2007, started Deccan 360 as a cargo airline in 2009. A year later, Reliance Industries became his partner by picking up a stake in the company. He also started Deccan Shuttles, a regional service in Gujarat, connecting small cities.

Both businesses failed and reportedly shut last year. Gopinath was earlier also looking to make a comeback in the low-cost aviation business.

Gopinath had earlier contested and lost as an independent candidate from the Bangalore South constituency in 2009 when he fought against BJP heavy-weight Ananth Kumar.

Other corporate executives who recently joined AAP include Meera Sanyal and Adarsh Shastri, the grandson of former PM Lal Bahadur Shastri who quit his job at Apple.

(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)

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