Swami Paripoornananda, the head of Sree Peetham Mutt of Kakinada, joined Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday in the presence of BJP national president Amit Shah.

“It gives us great pleasure that Swami Paripoornananda ji has joined the party,” Shah said at a press briefing in New Delhi.

Shah said that Paripoornananda will be part of the BJP’s campaign in poll-bound Telangana.

The Swami will also be a key figure in BJP’s political strategy in Andhra Pradesh.

“Swami ji’s contribution in Telangana, AP, Karnataka and other southern states is known to all. He is known for social work, religious work and public awareness campaigns and represents a very big legacy,” Shah said.

“Till today his blessings were with us, now he is himself with us,” the BJP chief said, adding that Paripoornananda’s induction will help boost BJP’s chances of victory in Telangana and energise the party workers in the state.

“I welcome him and will campaign with him in the state elections,” Shah announced.

BJP general secretary Ram Madhav was present during Paripoornananda’s induction.

According to reports, Paripoornananda might contest from Telangana either in the state polls or in the 2019 general election.

“I am happy to be part of this party…I am grateful to BJP president Amit Shah and Ram Madhav ji. I will follow them and work 24*7,” he said, adding that he has joined the party as a worker and will remain a karmayogi (one who desires nothing for his work).

Described as the ‘Yogi Adityanath of the south’, Paripoornananda was in July this year banned from Hyderabad for six months for allegedly making provocative statements.

The ban was suspended by the Hyderabad High Court in August.