YouTuber Manish Kashyap, who was in jail and booked under the National Security Act for posting allegedly fake videos of Bihari migrants being attacked in Tamil Nadu, joined the Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday.

“I could be released from jail only because of them [BJP] and the bad days of my life came to an end,” ANI quoted Kashyap as saying. “So, I joined the BJP.”

Kashyap was granted bail in the fake videos case by the Patna High Court in December.

He also said that the charges against him under the National Security Act have been withdrawn. The Act allows for long periods of detention without trial and suspends important rights of the accused person, including the right to legal representation and immediate information about the cause of the arrest.

In November, the Madras High Court quashed the detention of Kashyap under the National Security Act. However, the court allowed the proceedings against him under the Information Technology Act to continue.

“My fight against those who defame Sanatan [Dharma] and those who are against nationalism will continue,” he said on Thursday.

Sanatana Dharma is a term some people use as a synonym for Hinduism.

Manoj Tiwari, the BJP MP from North East Delhi, who inducted him into the party, said that Kashyap has raised his voice for the people, PTI reported.

“Every person like Manish [Kashyap], who raises people’s voice, is dear to the BJP,” Tiwari told PTI. “I as well as his mother advised Manish to be with [Prime Minister Narendra] Modi ji and he has agreed to do so.”

After joining the party, Kashyap also met BJP National President JP Nadda.

In March 2023, several videos had been shared on social media showing migrant labourers, especially from Bihar, being attacked and even killed in Tamil Nadu. Following this, some migrant workers had returned home out of fear, mildly disrupting economic activities in parts of Tamil Nadu.

His YouTube channel has 87 lakh subscribers.

The BJP, which was in the Opposition in Bihar at the time, had tapped into the claims of violence against Bihari migrant labourers to attack the state’s Nitish Kumar-led coalition government, saying it had failed to protect them.

The Tamil Nadu Police and state officials as well as fact-checkers had said that the claims made in the videos were fake. Nineteen first information reports were filed against Kashyap in the matter. On April 6, 2023, Kashyap was detained under the National Security Act, which allows for detention for up to a year without trial.

At the time, an unidentified official from the Economic Offences Unit of Bihar had told The Hindu that Kashyap had “strong political ambition”.

“This man was desperate to become a politician and he can go to any extent for that,” the official had said. “The purpose behind spreading fake videos was to create sensation and to become a hero. He wanted to portray himself as the messiah of poor people. He wanted to defame the government and the system. He also wanted to become the talk of the town by spreading fake videos on social media. He basically wanted to create a situation of discord.”

Also read: How disinformation and politics made migrant workers flee Tamil Nadu