Rahul Gandhi needs to change, Congress will see more exits, says actor Khushbu Sundar

CHENNAI: “Tamil Nadu is also going to accept the BJP, and in 2021 we are going to prove ourselves,” said actress-turned-politician Khushbu Sundar whose switch from the Congress to the BJP earlier this month made a stir.

The assembly polls in Tamil Nadu next year will be “an acid test for everyone” as it marks the first election that DMK and AIADMK are going to fight without their tallest political figures.

“Nobody knows who is going to win. As far as the AIADMK is concerned, the Chief Minister (Edappadi K Palaniswamy) has been ruling for four years and I don’t see much anti-incumbency against him. I am not a specialist or strategist, but as a lay person, I don’t see people say that they are not happy with the government. But it is going to be tough for everyone. We have an alliance, AIADMK and we are looking at making a mark,” she said.

She added that she believed that regional parties will continue to thrive in State like Tamil Nadu where she said the people have one of the Dravidian parties in their blood and said that an alliance will continue to be the way forward for the BJP to make more inroads in one of the few States that remains resistant to a “Saffron wave.”

Khusbu lauded the government’s policies and strategic actions with regard to Pulwama, Swacch Barat, Atmanirbhar, Triple talaq and said that even while she was part of the Congress, she wondered why she had to oppose and not welcome what the government was doing. On the controversial CAA-NRC, the actress said that she was very vehemently opposing it when she was in Congress but that when you look at it, it does not target a particular religion.

Khushbu went on to say that of the 19 lakh people who were sent back in Assam, 15 lakh were Hindus. Further, she said that if the BJP was against or was looking to attack minorities, they would not have fought for the abolishment of triple talaq.

As for the Ram Temple, she said that it was a Supreme Court order. “You have a Ram Temple, you also have a Masjid coming next to it. So what is anybody’s problem?” On the Kashmir issue, she wondered why a “State and Union Territory of my country have a different flag?”

On her exit from the Congress, she said that while Rahul Gandhi was not her “main issue,” she did acknowledge that he needed to change and warned that she wouldn’t be surprised if the Congress was in for more exits.

“He needs to look out of his surroundings, it is like a Laxman Rekha built around him. He needs to move out of that and see.

Calling herself ambitious, not opportunistic, Khushbu said she is in no rush but wants to grow. As of now, she has not been given any responsibility in the BJP, she said and her only goal is to take the party to every nook and corner of Tamil Nadu and shatter the “wrong notion” of the BJP being a party only for Hindus and Brahmins, but rather to get people to see it for also being a party of minorities and backward classes.

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