Actor-turned-politician Khushbu Sundar, one of the Congress’s most prominent defenders, quit the party today and joined the BJP just months before the Tamil Nadu polls. In her resignation letter to Congress president Sonia Gandhi, she wrote that she felt “pushed and suppressed” by people who had no connect with ground reality.
“Few elements seated at higher level within the party, people who have no connectivity with the ground reality or public recognition are dictating terms and people like me who wanted to work for the party sincerely, are being pushed and suppressed,” Khushbu Sundar, 50, wrote.
“After a long thorough thought process over a period of time, have decided to end my association with the party,” she said. Even before the letter emerged, the Congress had dropped her as spokesperson. The party said her exit would have “zero impact” in Tamil Nadu.
“If the nation has to move forward, then we need somebody like Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take the country in the right direction,” Khushbu Sundar told reporters after joining the BJP.
For the BJP, Khushbu Sundar is a big acquisition in the southern state that remains largely out of its grasp.
She had been with the Congress for close to six years since 2014.
Though she was the Congress’s visible face in TV debates, Ms Sundar’s political career was seen to have stagnated, with the party out of power since 2014.
The BJP is expected to give her a big job for the 2021 assembly election in Tamil Nadu. There are unconfirmed reports of a Rajya Sabha seat. “Khushbu will change the perception of the BJP in Tamil Nadu,” said the BJP’s Tamil Nadu unit.
Ms Sundar had joined the DMK in 2010 when it was in power. She took the step after playing legendary rationalist leader Periyar’s wife Maniammai in a biographical film largely funded by the Tamil Nadu government. At the time, she had said, “I think I made the right decision. I love to serve people. I want to work for the betterment of women.”