Former Mumbai Police Commissioner Arup Patnaik on Wednesday joined Odisha’s ruling party, the Biju Janata Dal. Chief minister and party President Naveen Patnaik said the former Indian Police Service officer will be a “valuable asset” to the party.

He joined the Biju Janata Dal in the presence of Naveen Patnaik and other party legislators and ministers. “I was away from Odisha since my childhood,” Arup Patnaik said, according to IANS. “Even when I joined the Indian Police Service, it was in a different cadre. Joining the Biju Janata Dal has given me an opportunity to return to my native place and Odisha.”

Arup Patnaik said he would contest the Assembly elections in the state, due for 2019, if the party asked him to. “If the party finds any merit in me and asks me to contest elections, as a dedicated soldier I will do so,” he told The Indian Express.

The 1979-batch Indian Police Service officer has served in many positions in Maharashtra and had received the President’s Police Medal in 2003 for distinguished service. He gained prominence for his role in handling the Lokhandwala shootout in 1991. He was also the investigating officer in the 1993 Mumbai serial blasts case.

Arup Patnaik was transferred from Mumbai police chief’s position to State High Security Operation as director General in 2012. He was succeeded by Satyapal Singh, who also quit the post in 2014 to join the Bharatiya Janata Party and contest the Lok Sabha elections. Singh is currently the Union minister of state for human resource development.

Arup Patnaik retired on September 30, 2015.