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From aam aadmi airline to AAP

Bangalore, Jan. 3: Captain Gopinath, who once ran India’s first low-cost airline Air Deccan, today joined the Aam Aadmi Party in another boost to Arvind Kejriwal.

Gopinath, 63, is the second entrepreneur from Karnataka to join the party after former Infosys director V. Balakrishnan two days ago. He served in the Indian Army for eight years and fought the 1971 Bangladesh war.

“I was part of the Anna movement that inspired people like Arvind Kejriwal, Prashant Bhushan and Kiran Bedi. That was when Arvind floated AAP and attracted people like me with their success in the Delhi election,” Gopinath said after enrolling as a primary member of the AAP.

On the reason for his decision, Gopinath said: “I want to fight this corrupt system.”

Asked if would contest the Lok Sabha polls, he said: “It’s too early to say anything. But I am open to being of help to the party in its fight to change the corrupt system.”

He said the Lok Sabha polls would be a “game changer” in a country that has for long suffered from deep-rooted corruption. “But how AAP would sustain its fight would be critical and challenging,” he said.

“I really hope they will put mechanisms in place to ensure corrupt people do not get entry to the party and never get to contest. Great care has to be taken while choosing candidates for the Lok Sabha elections,” he said.

Gopinath had contested as an Independent against BJP’s Ananth Kumar from Bangalore South and lost in the 2009 Lok Sabha elections. Before that, he lost in the 1994 Assembly elections from Gandasi seat in Hassan district on a BJP ticket.

After a six-year stint in running a helicopter charter service, Gopinath started Air Deccan in 2003. It was bought out by Kingfisher in 2007.