Less than a day after actor-turned-politician Khusboo Sundar left the Congress party to join the BJP, she created a flutter by calling her former party colleagues "mentally retarded.” Khusboo who had just arrived at Chennai airport from Delhi, was reacting to Tamil Nadu Congress chief KS Alagiri's remarks on her resignation. On Tamil Nadu Congress Committee chief K S Algiri's statement that there was no loss to the party because of her exit, she said the TNCC would realise "what they lost" in due course.
She accused the state unit of the Congress party of "impaired" cognitive functions while reacting to an alleged remark, reportedly made by Tamil Nadu Congress chief KS Alagiri that she was seen merely as an actor during her entire six-year stint in the party. Speaking to reporters at the airport on her arrival here from Delhi following a warm reception accorded by BJP workers, she said she was prompted to respond in such a fashion in view of strong remarks made against her for leaving the party and joining the BJP.
"The people who made such remarks in state Congress had no capability to ponder on the reason for people quitting the party," she commented, while accusing them of impaired cognitive functions. "There is no respect for people in the party and those who quit," she said.
Khusboo's statement drew sharp reactions from disabilities rights activists. State president of December 3 Movement, Deepaknathan tweeted, "Disability sector strongly condemn kushboo for denigrating psychosocial disabilities while criticising congress party. Equating Congress as to that of "underdeveloped brain"is denigrating disability. Disability is part of biodiversity of nature, why do you compare?R v not equals? (sic)"
Disability sector strongly condemn kushboo for denigrating psychosocial disabilities while criticising congress party. Equating Congress as to that of "underdeveloped brain"is denigrating disability. Disability is part of biodiversity of nature, why do you compare?R v not equals?— Prof Deepaknathan (@Deepak_TMN) October 13, 2020
Khusboo on Tuesday claimed she was insulted in the Congress and wondered how the grand old outfit could do good for the nation when there was "no freedom to speak the truth" within the party.
"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 first press conference at the BJP's Tamil Nadu headquarters 'Kamalalayam' in Chennai. A day after joining the BJP, Khusboo said though Congress set in motion initiatives like the Goods and Services Tax while it was in power, 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. Even while she was in Congress, the actor said she had welcomed the National Education Policy and abolition of the triple Talaq.
Despite such an ambience, she remained committed to the Congress till she quit it, she said. Known for her views espousing the rights of women, the actor said she continued to remain a "Periyarist" (follower of social reformer and rationalist 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.
She joined the BJP in Delhi on Monday after quitting Congress, where she had been a national spokesperson for six years. From 2010 to 2014, she was with the DMK and later joined the Congress in 2014.
(With inputs from PTI)