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Khushbu calls Congress a ‘mentally retarded’ party a day after joining BJP

Malini T
·3-min read

A day after joining the Bharatiya Janata Party, actor-politician Khushbu Sundar on Tuesday said she was insulted in the Congress and wondered how the party could do good for the nation when there was 'no freedom to speak the truth' within the party.

She called the Congress a ‘mentally retarded’ party and added: “They don’t want an intelligent woman. To say that I was seen only as an actress, shows the Congress’ cheap thoughts.”

Even while she was in the Congress, the actor said she had welcomed the National Education Policy and abolition of the triple talaq.

“I was insulted (in Congress party) and not invited for party events. I used to get to know about programmes only after seeing newspapers,” she claimed, addressing her maiden press conference at the BJP's Tamil Nadu headquarters 'Kamalalayam' in Chennai.

Despite such an ambience, she remained committed to the Congress till she quit it, she said.

Khushbu said though the Congress set in motion initiatives like the Goods and Services Tax while it was in power, but now it was keen on only finding faults, be it the tax reforms or the farm laws of the Centre just for the sake of opposing the saffron party.

She joined the BJP at Delhi on Monday after quitting Congress where she had been its national spokesperson for six years.

Pointing to leaders including Jyotiraditya Scindia quitting the Congress and the party 'sidelining 23 leaders' who wrote to top leader Sonia Gandhi recently, she asked: 'when there is no freedom to speak the truth within the party, how then could one expect it to do good for the country.'

Asked on her taking part in a recent protest here over the Hathras case and attacking the BJP, she said at that time she was in the Congress and hence toed the party line and she was also requested by office-bearers in Delhi.

To a question on switching loyalties between one party to another, she said she would stay put with the BJP for all time. From 2010 to 2014, she was with the DMK.

Known for her views espousing the rights of women, the actor said she continued to remain a 'Periyarist' (follower of rationalist leader Periyar's ideology) as she would go on to champion the cause of women.

She said Periyar fought for the rights of women and oppressed people including Dalits and to be a Periyarist, there was no need to subscribe to all of his ideologies, seen as a reference to his commitment to atheism.

Also, she said the BJP as well stood for the rights of women and Dalits.

On some in Congress claiming that they saw her as a mere actor when she was with the party, she said it only showed 'male chauvinism' that no woman should come up in her life based on her talent and work.

To a question, she said just because that she has joined the party she did not expect the organisation to field her in elections (Assembly elections next year).

'I leave it to senior party leaders.' Asked about claims that she joined the BJP only because of her husband Sundar C's persuasion, she dismissed it and asserted that she came to the party on her own for doing good to people and not expecting anything.

Political analysts believe that Khushbu’s decision to join the BJP ahead of the Tamil Nadu Assembly polls scheduled next year is an indication of the party’s attempt to strengthen its presence in the southern state.

Inputs from PTI, NDTV and News18