‘Jumla Govt’: How Khushbu Scoffed at the BJP Before Joining It
After over six years of working in the Indian National Congress (INC), she joined the BJP on Monday.
Adding to the spate of unexpected events that have defined 2020, actor-politician Khushbu Sundar, who has always been vocal against the saffron party’s policies, has done a U-turn and joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday, 12 October, after stating she felt “pushed and suppressed” by the Congress.
Sundar spent six years with the Indian National Congress serving as the party spokesperson, before defecting to BJP.
“There might be a change in my party but not in my ideologies. I am more of an activist than a politician,” she said at the party headquarters in New Delhi.
Over the past few years, Sundar has been very critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s policies and has often taken to Twitter to criticise the ruling dispensation. She has not shied away from trolls and on many occasions, responded with snarky memes and retorts.
Here is a look at the number of times the actor-politician slammed the prime minister and the BJP.
‘PM Should Speak in Tamil’
Khushbu Sundar has been a popular actor, television presenter and a politician for the past few decades. She is well versed in Hindi but took to Twitter in May to sharply criticise Prime Minister Modi for speaking in the language that many people across the country are not very familiar with.
After Modi’s speech on the announcement of the Rs 20 lakh crore COVID relief package, she pointed out that Twitter is an international platform and that the prime minister should speak in Tamil, the oldest language, and not in Hindi.
She received mixed reactions and among many was actor Gayathri Raghuram who called her a ‘joker.’
‘He (Modi) Could’ve Done Better’
On 3 April, about 10 days into the 21-day lockdown, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had urged people to turn off all lights in their homes for 9 minutes and light a candle.
She criticised this announcement stating she was always against Modi’s policies and that “he could have done better.”
‘BJP Has Been Looting People’
In March 2020, during the Women’s Day celebrations Khushbu questioned PM Modi on fuel price hike and his advertisement costs. She pointed out that Modi’s advertisement expenses were skyrocketing to Rs 4,800 crores.
“The BJP government has been looting the people during this coronavirus lockdown. The Modi’s government is a heartless government has increased the prices of petrol and diesel 22 times in 23 days. Why was this done? They have not given any answer,” she had stated.
‘BJP – a Jumla Party’
In April, Kushboo Sundar welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision on the admissibility of three documents in the Rafale fighter jet deal as evidence while re-examining the review petitions filed against the SC’s 14 December judgment refusing to order a probe into the procurement of 36 Rafale jets from France.
“This has vindicated our party’s stand. It has proved our ‘Chowkidar chor hai’ charge,” she said at a press conference.
Terming the Centre a ‘jumla’ government, she said the NDA government had failed to fulfil most of the promises made before coming to power in 2014, like the promise to transfer Rs 15 lakh to the bank account of every citizen.
“This says a lot about the ‘niyat’ of the saffron party whose interests are only to serve big industrialists and not the people of the country,” she had said.
'Why This Inequality?'
In October 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi hosted several eminent names from the film fraternity for the Change Within Meet to discuss ways to celebrate Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary. Social media discussions were rife that PM Modi invited only Bollywood stars and the South Indian industry was neglected.
Khushbu Sundar had slammed PM Modi saying she was deeply hurt because, “Hindi films alone do not represent or contribute to the economy of this country. South Indian cinema is the largest contributor.”
“Would really appreciate if my pioneers and peers who have made South Indian cinema a pride of the country, are invited and shown the same respect as I feel they rightly deserve it,” she added.
From ‘Not Moving to BJP’ to ‘Criticised BJP Because I Was Forced to’
On 31 July, Khushbu had welcomed the New Education Policy (NEP) and stated in a tweet that her stand on NEP “differs” from that of her party.
“My stand on #NEP2020 differs from my party n I apologize to @RahulGandhi ji for that, but I rather speak the fact than be a head nodding robot or a puppet. Everything is n cannot be about agreeing to ur leader, but about being courages to voice ur opinion bravely as a citizen (sic),” she tweeted.
Soon, this tweet began doing the rounds raising doubts that she was leaning to the Right.
But she took to Twitter to clarify, “Sanghis can relax, pls do not rejoice. I am not moving to BJP. My opinion might be different from my party but I am an individual with a thinking mind of my own. Yes, #NEP2020 is flayed n flawed at some places, but I still feel we can look at the change with a positivity. (sic)”
On 12 October, when she was inducted in the party she responded to questions of retracting her allegations against the BJP and PM Modi, to which she said, “In the past I have congratulated PM Modi, say in the issue of NEP and even Amit Shah. I am only concerned about who is doing good for the country. I have criticised BJP many times because I was forced into saying those things because that is the party line and I was the Congress spokesperson.”
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