TT Epaper
The Telegraph
Graphiti
 
CIMA Gallary

Off ‘one-way’ DMK street

- Ignored, Khushbu quits party
Tshering Tobgay

Chennai, June 16: Actress Khushbu today quit the DMK, lamenting her hard work for the party she joined four years ago amid fanfare had been a “one-way street”.

The actress had not been given any DMK post, nor was she fielded in elections since she became a member in May 2010 when the party was in power in Tamil Nadu.

“My commitment and the way I carried the work entrusted to me by the party has been sincere and 100 per cent. Yet it has been only a one-way street, which has resulted in doubts and depression about the path I had taken. Hence, I am quitting from the primary membership of the DMK,” Khushbu said in a letter to party chief M. Karunanidhi.

DMK insiders said the actress had been sidelined despite having campaigned vigorously in the 2011 Assembly and the recent Lok Sabha polls in which the DMK couldn’t win a single of the state’s 39 seats.

While Karunanidhi had supported her, Khushbu failed to win the confidence of his son M.K. Stalin and other family members like daughter Kanimozhi.

In July last year, Stalin’s supporters had stoned Khushbu’s home after her purported comments in a Tamil magazine that the scion’s succession could not be taken for granted.

In the interview to the weekly Ananda Vikatan, the actress had said Stalin’s ascension was not “a given thing” just because Karunanidhi has said he would propose his son’s name for the party president’s post.

“Just because Karunanidhi has decided that Stalin will succeed him, it is not necessary that Stalin will be the next party president. It could be anyone from the party and it will be done only through an election. That has been the DMK’s tradition,” the actress was quoted as having said.

Having earned Stalin’s wrath with the interview, Khushbu tried to befriend Kanimozhi and M.K. Alagiri, Karunanidhi’s elder son, but was learnt to have got the cold shoulder. The family saw her as an unnecessary intrusion that added another dimension to the DMK’s power struggle. To top it all, Stalin’s iron-grip on the party meant Khushbu had little future.

The actress had once been close to Jayalalithaa, hosting a popular game show on the AIADMK chief’s Jaya TV, but it was stopped when she joined the DMK.

Khushbu also appeared on Kalaignar TV, owned by the DMK’s first family, but it never gave her the same importance as national news channels where she was a regular on women’s issues.

Khushbu’s resignation today came in the middle of a sweeping organisational rejig in the DMK. The party has announced that its 34 district units would be reorganised into 65 to give wider representation to long-time loyalists overshadowed by a handful of powerful senior district secretaries.

The restructuring was recommended by a six-member party panel set up after the Lok Sabha election washout. “It is a welcome move as the party had so far refused to listen to the voices of cadres that the power structure needs to be more equitable. While Stalin’s authority would not be challenged, there would be new and enthusiastic faces who would like to prove themselves as district secretaries, That is good for the party,” said a senior MLA.