Failure to get MP and MLA tickets and lack of political power was understood to have triggered the exit. A highly placed Congress leader admitted to the actor demanding ticket in 2016 as well as 2019 and said the repeated failed bids in the last two elections and neglect by incumbent state party leadership had prompted her to jump ship.
“She bid for the Mylapore Assembly seat in 2016, but Karate Thiyagarajan managed to secure the ticket. In 2019, she was offered the Theni seat, though she was an outsider to the seat. But she opted out as soon as she learnt that EVKS was contesting from there. She badly wanted to become either an MP or MLA. She failed repeatedly,” the leader said.
Lack of support within the party was another reason for the disaffection of the actor-politician who has joined her third party in ten years. She stayed low ever since EVKS Elangovan was relieved of the TNCC chief post.
The subsequent state party presidents did not treat her the way she wanted to be treated, a district Congress president revealed on condition of anonymity.
“She has no reason to complain that she was suppressed or the leaders were cut off from the grassroots. When was the last time Khushbu had even connected with the grassroots of the party? She would attend a meeting well organised by the party. Media will give good publicity. Organisers and she would be happy. That’s her only party work other than appearing on television occasionally,” said a state party functionary.
“She was one of the AICC spokespersons. She had easy access to Sonia and Rahul, unlike in BJP where only a spokesman had welcomed her. How can she complain that she was suppressed? If she believes that being an actor was virtue enough to get MP/MLA tickets or party posts in the party, she is seriously mistaken,” the state senior added.
Khushbu had joined the Congress in 2014 after spending four years in DMK.