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Khusboo Joins BJP, Will The Saffron Party Benefit?

Among the latest Congress leader who deserted and joined BJP is an A-listed actor-turned-politician Kushboo Sundar.

In a letter addressed to party chief Sonia Gandhi, Khusboo said she is resigning because big leaders within the party were disconnected with ground reality.

Kushboo Sundar's letter to Sonia quitting Congress OUT; hammers party's  'higher level' - Republic World

“Few elements seated at a 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.

I after a long thorough thought process over a period of time, have decided to end my association with the party. Herewith I tender my resignation from the primary membership of Indian National Congress,” the letter said.

Rumours were rife that Khusboo would resign from the Congress after she had backed Narendra Modi government’s National Education Policy.

She also said that she came into the Congress fold when the Congress’ fortunes were at the lowest after it was defeated in 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

She neither walked into the party for monetary gains, the Kollywood superstar added.

Will BJP Benefit?

Reacting to the development, Congress leader Dinesh Gundu Rao launched a tirade against the actor-turned-politician by saying that her quitting the party would have no impact on Tamil Nadu politics.

Actor MG Ramachandran had prepared his fans for his political avatar with a meticulous plan of making films with political messages.

Khushboo Sundar quits Congress, joins BJP; tells Sonia Gandhi she was  'pushed and suppressed'

He had groomed Jayalalithaa fabulously which made it easy for her to succeed him.

Actor Vijayakant toed the lines of MGR. He moulded his fan clubs along political lines, which initially helped the DMK and later used them for his own political party MDMK.

People love to watch and listen to filmstars, but converting that fervour into a vote bank is a difficult proposition. Late actress Sridevi had campaigned unsuccessfully for the Congress in three constituencies, including Sivakasi, where her father Ayyappan was defeated.

The campaign of comedian Vadivelu in 2011 Tamil Nadu assembly polls did not reap rich electoral dividends for the DMK, even though the party had its strong base.

Grassroots connections are vital to tapping into the glamour of film personalities. Whether Khusboo succeeds in it, is a million dollar question.

So far, Khusboo’s jumping from one party to another has neither done good to herself nor to the parties she worked – DMK and Congress.

Joining BJP also raises questions whether she would fit into the political ideology of the saffron party, given her liberal views and caustic attacks launched on Sangh Parivar, including the RSS..  

She had been in the vortex of controversies, the most prominent being her view on pre-marital sex, though she claimed that political parties twisted it out of context.

Cong Desertions

Though Dinesh Gundu Rao may brush aside the impact of Khusboo joining BJP in Tamil Nadu, he and Sonia Gandhi should do a ‘Chintan Manthan’ to know the reason for leaders leaving the party.

As many as 30 senior Congress leaders have deserted the party in the last seven years and joined the BJP.

Himanta

The exodus of the Congress leaders began from 2013 after they realised that the UPA II would not return to power in 2014 Lok Sabha elections. The image of the party had taken a hit due to several scams their leaders were involved in.

The Congress leaders who deserted the party included former Union Ministers, Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha members and scores of former state presidents and state ministers. Former External Affairs Minister S M Krishna, former Union Power Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia, former Textile Minister Rao Inderjit Singh, are some prominent names, who quit Congress.

A host of former Congress chief ministers joined BJP. These leaders included ND Tiwari, Narayan Rane and Shankersinh Vaghela.

Several Congress leaders from Uttarakhand had joined BJP ahead of assembly elections in 2016. These leaders included former Congress Chief Minister from Uttarakhand Vijay Bahuguna, former Speaker of the Uttarakhand assembly Yashpal Arya, Haran Singh who served as minister in the Congress government.

Satpal Maharaj, who was a minister in the Congress government, had joined the BJP in March 2014. He still remains a minister in the current BJP government in Uttarakhand.

In Uttar Pradesh also several senior Congress leaders quit and joined BJP ahead of 2017 Uttar Pradesh assembly elections.

Former Congress leader and State President Rita Bahuguna Joshi had joined BJP citing intra-party politics.  She is currently a minister in Yogi Adityanath’s government.

Another former president of the Congress’ Uttar Pradesh unit and Lok Sabha MP, Jagdambika Pal had joined the BJP ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha elections.

Ravi Kishan, Amarpal Tyagi, Dhirendra Singh, who held plum portfolios in UP Congress, joined BJP ahead of 2016 assembly elections.

Former Chhattisgarh Congress working president Ramdayal Uikey joined the BJP in 2018.

In the Northeast, Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh had joined BJP quitting Congress in 2016, citing differences with the then Congress Chief Minister Ibobi Singh.

In Arunachal Pradesh, the present BJP Chief Minister Prema Khandu had deserted Congress in 2016 before the assembly elections.

Himanta Biswa Sarma, BJP government’s Deputy Chief Minister, had shifted his allegiance to BJP ahead of Assam assembly elections in 2016. He was once the closest aide of former Congress Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi.

Several MPs have also quit Congress in last few years, including Rajya Sabha MP and chief whip of the Congress in the Upper House, Bhubaneswar Kalitia, former Congress president of Assam, Hiranya Bhuyan and former Rajya Sabha MP, Santiuse Kujur.

Also, senior Congress leaders from Delhi, Krishna Tirath, Raj Kumar Chauhan, Congress Mahila Morcha president Barkha Singh, had left the party and joined BJP in the last few years.

A senior Congress spokesperson Tom Vadakkan had joined BJP ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha elections.

Several Congress MLAs from different states had shifted loyalties to the BJP. In some cases, their defections had led to the falling of the governments in Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka.

The JDS-Congress government fell in Karnataka after 14 MLAs had quit their parties last year, which paved the way for BJP to return to power.

Similarly, in the Madhya Pradesh, at least 22 Congress MLAs along with Jyotiraditya Scindia, switched to the BJP, resulting in the toppling of the Kamal Nath-led Congress government.

In Goa, 10 out of 15 MLAs resigned from Congress and supported the BJP-led government.

Some other Congress leaders had left a few years ago, but have not joined any political party. These leaders include former Union Minister Jayanti Natarajan and G K Vasan who was a Union Minister in UPA government.

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