The daughter of deceased sandalwood smuggler Veerappan joined the Bharatiya Janata Party on Saturday, reported ANI. Vidya Rani joined the party at an event organised in Tamil Nadu’s Krishnagiri city, where BJP General Secretary Muralidhar Rao and former Union minister Pon Radhakrishnan were present.

“I want to work for the poor and underprivileged irrespective of their caste and religion,” said Rani. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s schemes are for the people and I want to take them to the people.”

Rani was among the 1,000-odd members from other political parties to join the BJP. The 29-year-old said she has been contemplating this decision for the last two years, reported The New Indian Express.

Rani has been running a tuition centre in Krishnagiri for the last year to support students. “We will utilise her properly,” BJP state secretary KS Narendran told The New Indian Express. “Her post will be decided later.”

The Tamil Nadu Special Task Force had killed Veerappan and two associates Sethukuli Govindan and Chandre Gowda in an operation on October 18, 2004. Later, police officer K Vijay Kumar, who headed the special team, wrote a book on the operation. The bandit’s story was the subject of Ram Gopal Varma’s 2016 Kannada docudrama Killing Veerappan, which he also remade in Hindi. Veerappan also inspired the brigand characters in Varma’s Jungle (2000) and Mani Ratnam’s Raavanan (2010).