Sasikanth Senthil: IAS officer who resigned in protest against Article 370 abrogation is an MP now

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NEW DELHI(CNI):In a stunning political victory, former Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Sasikanth Senthil has won the Thiruvallur Lok Sabha constituency in Tamil Nadu by a record margin of 572,165 votes. His win is particularly significant given his dramatic resignation from the IAS in 2019, a move he made in protest against the abrogation of Article 370, which conferred special status on Jammu and Kashmir.


Running as the Congress candidate, Senthil defeated his closest rival, Balaganapathy V Pon of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Senthil polled 796956 votes, which is more than 572155 from his nearest rival.


Interestingly, Senthil’s victory marks the highest margin of any candidate in Tamil Nadu, showcasing his overwhelming popularity and the strong support for the Congress party in the region.


Sasikanth Senthil, a 2009 batch IAS officer from Tamil Nadu, first made headlines when he resigned from his post as Deputy Commissioner of Dakshina Kannada in Karnataka. In his resignation letter, Senthil expressed deep concerns about the state of democracy in India, stating that the “fundamental building blocks of democracy were being compromised in an unprecedented manner.”


Senthil’s resignation was a response to the BJP-led government’s decision to abrogate Article 370 and the subsequent communication blackout in Jammu and Kashmir. He described the move as the “culmination of his feelings” and criticised the government’s actions as fascist. Senthil’s outspokenness on these issues earned him both praise and criticism, but it cemented his reputation as a principled and courageous public servant.


His resignation from service triggered scathing attacks on him. “This is treachery. If an IAS officer ventures to question a government which is in place on the basis of a mandate of the people and questions a decision of Parliament, then there is no greater letting down of the government. Authorities must take prompt action,” BJP MP Anantkumar Hegde had said. “What this man should do along with all his supporters is go away to Pakistan… Instead of dividing our country by staying here, it is better he goes there and fights our country and government directly.”


After his resignation, Senthil joined the Congress party in 2020. He quickly became an influential figure within the party, contributing significantly to its strategy and success in various elections. His efforts were particularly noted in the 2023 Karnataka Assembly elections, where the Congress party achieved a decisive victory.


Senthil’s entry into active politics and his subsequent election to the Lok Sabha reflects a seamless transition from a civil servant to a political leader. His campaign in Thiruvallur focused on local issues, democratic values, and a commitment to social justice, resonating deeply with voters.


Throughout his campaign, Senthil emphasised the need for a political framework that upholds democratic principles and the Constitution. He critiqued the current government’s policies, advocating for intellectual debate and resistance to majoritarianism.


In interviews, Senthil has articulated his vision for India, expressing concerns about hyper-nationalism and the dilution of constitutional values. He believes in empowering marginalised communities and has a track record of supporting educational initiatives in his native village in Tamil Nadu.


Senthil’s victory has been celebrated by Congress supporters and those who admire his stance on democratic values. However, it has also drawn sharp criticism from BJP leaders, such as Anantkumar Hegde, who accused him of treachery for opposing the government’s policies.


Son of a district judge and a government officer, Sasikanth Senthil, ranked at No 9 in UPSC 2009 Batch, Karnataka Cadre. An electronics engineering graduate from Bharathidasan University, Senthil initially worked at Polaris Inc. before pursuing a career in the IAS. Senthil personally funded a library in his native Tamil Nadu village and supported the education of poor students. An advocate for marginalised communities, he resigned from the IAS to empower them by raising a cadre of value-based civil servants. He continues to mentor UPSC aspirants, teaching governance, ethics, and psychology at Capstone QLeap IAS Academy in Bhubaneswar.–(CNI MONITERING)

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