Actor-turned-politician Suresh Gopi, who won from Kerala’s Thrissur Lok Sabh seat on a Bharatiya Janata Party ticket, clarified on Monday that he will not be resigning from the Union Council of Ministers.

Gopi was responding to reports of his comments to television news channels, hours after taking oath as a Union minister on Sunday, that he had no desire to be a Cabinet minister.

“I have always told the party that I do not want it [Cabinet berth],” said Gopi. “I think they will relieve me…they will relieve me sooner than later.”

When asked if his quitting the Cabinet would be an issue for the voters from Thrissur, he said: “It will not be a problem at all. They know well that I will do a commendable job for the people of Thrissur as their MP.”

Gopi added: “But I have to continue my work in films…Let the party decide.”

The BJP secured its first-ever Lok Sabha seat in Kerala with the victory of the actor-turned-politician from Thrissur on June 4. Gopi defeated VS Sunilkumar of the Communist Party of India by 74,686 votes.

In the run-up to the elections, “a Union minister for Thrissur, [Prime Minister Narendra] Modi’s guarantee” was a major poll slogan used by Gopi, according to The Indian Express.

On Sunday, he was administered the oath of office as a member of the Union Council of Ministers by President Droupadi Murmu.

Before leaving for the swearing-in ceremony, the actor-turned-politician had told reporters at the Thiruvananthapuram airport that the decision to induct him as a Cabinet minister was made by the prime minister.

“He called me and asked me to be at his home at 11.30 am,” Gopi was quoted as saying by The Indian Express. “I am obeying. I do not know anything else. I will be an MP working for Kerala and Tamil Nadu. I had already told people of Thrissur during the campaign.”

The National Democratic Alliance inducted two leaders from Kerala – Gopi and party functionary George Kurian – into the Union cabinet on Sunday.

The BJP had not been able to make significant inroads in Kerala until Gopi’s victory.

In the Thiruvananthapuram Lok Sabha constituency, BJP leader and former Union minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar lost to Congress leader Shashi Tharoor by a slim margin..

Kerala, which has 20 Lok Sabha seats, went to the polls in the second phase on April 26. While the Congress won 14 seats in the state, the Indian Union Muslim League won two.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist), the BJP, the Kerala Congress and the Revolutionary Socialist Party secured one seat each.

Overall, the BJP won 240 Lok Sabha seats in the general election, a significant dip from its tally of 303 seats in 2019. The overall tally of the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance has reached 292.

The Congress won 99 seats, significantly improving on its 2019 tally when it had managed to get only 52 seats. The Opposition INDIA bloc collectively bagged 232 seats this time.

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