CHENNAI: The entry of actor Khushbu has sidelined several faction leaders in the Tamil Nadu Congress unit, including former Union Minister P Chidambaram, though it has failed to cause an impact in the State politics so far.
The actor has started mingling with the Congress cadre calling them ‘anna’ and ‘ayya’, while they were eager to take photos with her. Such a spontaneous interaction was not seen with other leaders who used to maintain distance with party cadre.
In the two public meetings Khushbu addressed at Virudhunagar and Ooty, the attendance was good and the response too was notable. Party workers came for the two meetings despite leaders like Chidambaram, Thirunavukkarasar and Sudarsana Natchiappan boycotting the show in spite of invitations to them. Huge cutouts were erected for the actor in both the venues and one of them placed near that of Congress president Sonia Gandhi was equal in size. Most Congress workers were happy at the actor’s entry and it was seen as a boost right after the exit of former Union minister G K Vasan. TNCC president EVKS Elangovan referred to the good turnout and in a lighter vein said he himself was afraid of Khushbu.
Aware of the compulsions of Congress and the need to have a good rapport with the DMK, the actor avoided attacks on DMK and did not speak about the reasons for her exit from the party. Toeing the party line, she attacked the BJP vehemently, besides criticising the AIADMK government.
The factions headed by Chidambaram and others were planning to put pressure on Elangovan and the high command to accommodate them as they could not afford another leader leaving immediately after Vasan. But their plans hit a road block due to the sudden entry of Khushbu. She is receiving royal treatment in the party causing resentment among other leaders and supporters. However, outside the Congress, she has not managed to make a significant impact as other party functionaries have totally ignored her and do not see her as a threat. According to them, Khushbu is not capable of doing anything to prop up the sagging the electoral fortunes of the Congress.