CHENNAI: Actor-turned-politician Khushbu Sundar’s recent migration from the Congress to BJP has left an unexpected corner of the Tamil political world nursing a deep sense of hurt and betrayal.
Going by social media reactions, it appears fans and followers of her one-time co-star and the state’s political Godot, Rajinikanth, are more upset than even Congress cadres.
Rajini, who has been tiptoeing around the sphere of electoral politics for two decades, was expected to finally launch his party in time for the 2021 Assembly elections.
However, with just months left for the polls, followers are beginning to wonder if their 69-year-old messiah will ever take the political plunge.
How does Khushbu figure in the calculations? It appears many fans assumed she would join Rajini’s party. Her decision to join the BJP instead, so close to the elections, is seen as a sign that the party will not be launched anytime soon.
So on Monday, after she formally joined the BJP, a section of the fans took to social media to criticise her out of sharp disappointment.
“Till last week, there were reports that Khushbu was waiting for our leader’s (Rajini) party to launch so she could join. Now, she has joined the BJP. Some of us suspect she might have joined the BJP based on advice from our leader and he will explain his political plan soon,” one fan told The New Indian Express.
However, according to the fan, another section of followers thought that she has joined the BJP because their leader won’t be starting a political party.
“Her move has sent a disturbing signal to Rajini fans and has created confusion among us as to whether our leader will float a party or not?” he said.
A district secretary of the Rajini Makkal Mandram, the actor’s pre-political formation, said he didn’t believe that Rajini had informed Khushbu about his political plans.
“I don’t accept that theory as he never leaked any message about his future plans and the political party to anyone. At the same time, most fans were expecting Khushbu to join our party as it would help us campaign across the state given our leader can't visit every nook and cranny owing to his age,” he said.
It was this disappointment that caused some followers to express their angst online.
“She can migrate to our party, but that would bring the party disrespect,” he added.
An IT wing functionary of the RMM said he personally reached out and instructed followers to delete their tweets criticising Khushbu lest it creates a “wrong image” for the yet-to-be-launched party as being dependent on her to campaign and lend some “glamour”.
“Rajinikanth's influence is enough to capture power in the state,” he claimed.
“Our leader is not just a hero, he has been a superstar for the last four decades and he was an influential actor even before Khushbu made her debut in Tamil. We don’t depend on anyone except our leader,” he added.
Still, when it comes to Tamil Nadu’s politics, Khushbu is now a veteran of 10 years, while like the never-seen Godot, Rajini lingers off the political stage with nary a sign of entry.