New Delhi/Chennai, Oct 12 (PTI) Actor-turned-politician Kushboo Sundar quit the Congress on Monday and joined the BJP here, asserting that she had come to realise that if the nation has to move forward, then someone like Prime Minister Narendra Modi is needed to take the country 'in the right direction and to its glory'.
This will be her third political innings after serving first in the DMK, then in the Congress, and now in the BJP, a marginal force in Tamil Nadu that hopes its political standing will get a boost with her induction in a state where film stars have enjoyed relatively big influence compared to most other regions of the country.
Kushboo, who also met BJP president J P Nadda, joined the saffron party at its national headquarters hours after resigning from the Congress' primary membership protesting in a letter to its interim president Sonia Gandhi against what she described as some leaders 'dictating terms' and 'suppressing' her.
The Congress has announced in Delhi her removal as its national spokesperson with 'immediate effect' and its Tamil Nadu unit later claimed that her departure was no loss to it.
Speaking to reporters at a press conference at the BJP office, she noted that people have reposed their faith in Modi time and again.
'You have 128 cr people actually believing in one man and that's our prime minister. I think they're doing something absolutely right,' she added.
Kushboo said that she was willing to discharge her responsibility as a BJP leader in whatever capacity the party deems fit for her.
BJP general secretary C T Ravi and Tamil Nadu BJP president L Murugan were present at the joining ceremony.
Assembly polls are due in Tamil Nadu in the first half of the next year.
The BJP has long been a minor player in the southern state where two Dravidian parties, the AIADMK and the DMK, have been the main contenders for power.
On the occasion, journalist Madan Ravichandran and former IRS officer Saravanan Kumaran from the state also joined the BJP.
In her resignation letter to Gandhi, Kushboo said a few elements seated at the higher level of the party with 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.' While her first name was spelled as 'Kushboo' in her resignation letter, it is written as 'Khushbu' on her Twitter handle.
Tamil Nadu Congress chief K S Alagiri claimed that the party she intended to join would not gain anything and her resignation was no loss to the Congress.
Though the Congress gave her importance and appointed her to the key position of national spokesperson, her involvement in party work over the past few months was 'pretty less,' he said.
Pointing to her participation in a Congress held protest over the Hathras case days ago here and a press conference to oppose the new farm laws in addition to her recent denial over the buzz of her joining the BJP, Alagiri said only she can explain her decision to join the saffron party.
Kushboo, however, said in her letter that she decided to end her association with the Congress after a long and thorough 'thought process' over a period of time.
She had joined the DMK in May 2010 and when she moved out, she had said that she was stressed as her dedication and hard work continued to be a one-way path.
The 50-year old actor-politician had recently hit out at the BJP governments at the Centre and in Uttar Pradesh in the Congress-organised demonstration.
On October 10, the actor, on her Twitter handle, had given a hint of quitting the Congress, saying that 'many see a change in me. Well as you age, you evolve n grow, learn n unlearn, perceptions change, likes n dislikes too, thoughts n ideas take a new shape, dreams are new, you understand the difference between like n love, between right n wrong. Change is inevitable.' An articulate voice with at times forthright views, her comments about live-in relationships and pre-marital sex in 2005 had triggered a row, and many criminal cases were filed against her.
The Supreme Court had later quashed all cases, and wondered what is the offense if two adults want to live together.
Wife of noted Tamil filmmaker Sundar C, Kushboo became a household name in Tamil Nadu after the 1991 Tamil flick 'Chinna Thambi', became a box-office hit in which she was paired with actor Prabhu. She has been popular in television shows as well.PTI KR/VGN ANB ANB ANB