Her inability to patch up with DMK’s senior leader M K Stalin and strike a good working rapport with him forced actor Khushbu to cut short her stint in the party, say sources. While the actor-turned-politician’s letter to party chief M Karunanidhi did not spell out in clear terms what forced her to resign from the DMK’s primary membership, her statement that her hard work and dedication had always been a one-way traffic, was telling. There is speculation that the actor, who had joined the DMK in May 2010, might opt for the BJP.
The first sign of trouble was evident when Khushbu, known to be outspoken, told a Tamil weekly that Karunanidhi’s announcement that Stalin would be his successor could not be taken as the final word. In an interview to the Tamil journal in May 2013, Khushbu, when asked about Stalin’s possible elevation within the DMK, said the party general council will choose Karunanidhi’s successor.
Furious with her remarks, DMK youth wing cadres gathered in front of her residence in Chennai and raised slogans against her. Later they threw stones at her house, damaging the window panes and a car parked in the portico. Only her two daughters and a housemaid were at home then. The actor was away in Trichy and her husband and film actor-cum-director Sundar C too was away. In Trichy, DMK cadres staged a protest in front of the hotel where she was staying, and threw stones and footwear at her when she came out.
What was unexpected was the strong support Khushbu got from Karunanidhi. The following day, the DMK came out strongly in support of the actor. The DMK statement said action would be taken against those who attacked Khushbu and “threatened her children” and warned leaders and members against giving statements and interviews to media on the issue. Karunanidhi also reportedly pulled up actor Vaagai Chandrasekar and others for criticizing Khushbu in the media. Though Karunanidhi and some senior leaders extended their support to Khushbu, Stalin’s family members and supporters vehemently opposed her.
Ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, there was speculation that Khushbu would quit the party. On March 22, Karunanidhi clarified in a statement that the DMK was not sidelining Kushboo and she would campaign for the party. Speaking to TOI later, Kushboo dismissed reports that she was quitting the party and said she had no issues with Stalin or any other leader. “But she felt humiliated during the poll campaign. Many candidates did not accompany her due to pressure from the Stalin camp,” a close associate said.
In a tweet on Monday, Kushoo said, “Thanks for the support… humbled, indebted … very emotional moment … Request my friends from press to leave me alone for sometime”.