A man from Kerala who had moved court against his daughter’s inter-faith marriage has now joined the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Hindustan Times reported. KM Ashokan, the father of Hadiya, said on Monday he supports the party’s protest against a Supreme Court verdict that had allowed women of menstruating age to enter the Sabarimala temple.

Hadiya, formerly known as Akhila Ashokan, had converted to Islam to marry Shafin Jahan in 2015. Her father had approached the Kerala High Court, alleging that Muslim organisations planned to make her join the Islamic State group, and that Jahan was involved in terrorism.

On Monday, Ashokan joined the BJP in the presence of party General Secretary B Gopalakrishnan. He claimed the BJP is the only party that can protect Hindu beliefs.

“I was a Communist party follower since my childhood,” he told reporters in Thiruvanathapuram. “But of late the party is playing dirty vote-bank politics eyeing minority votes. I failed to understand if somebody talks about Hindus [how] he turns communal in no time.”

Explaining his support for the protests in Sabarimala, Ashokan said: “Like many Hindus of Kerala, I am also torn between my belief and law. I personally believe customs and traditions should not come under the preview of courts. Let religious scholars and other decide on such issues.”

In May 2017, the Kerala High Court had annulled Hadiya’s marriage and sent her back to her father. However, Jahan moved the Supreme Court, which in March 2018, restored the marriage, observing that “marriage and intimacy of personal relationships are the core of plurality in India”.