Star hunt ahead of TN Assembly polls – F’day Spl. Article by Naveen

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Actresses are crowd-pullers. And, Tamil Nadu politics is always associated with cinema. Understanding these two points better late than never, Bharatiya Janata Party, which is putting its best efforts to make inroads into TN politics, is on a spree to induct actresses into its fold.

With rumours suggesting that more would join soon, the party, in the past few years, has ‘attracted’ a bunch of popular Tamil actresses. But, one has to wait and watch to know whether these celebrities could convert their popularity into votes. Here are some of them.

Khushbu Sundar

Khushbu Sundar recently quit the Congress and joined the BJP. Soon after she sent her resignation letter to party president Sonia Gandhi, the Congress sacked her from the national spokesperson post.

In her letter to Sonia, Khushbu said, “Few elements seated at higher level within the party, people who have no connectivity with the ground reality or public recognition are dictating terms and people like me who wanted to work for the party sincerely, are being pushed and suppressed.”

Khushbu, who had earlier served the DMK, said that after a long and thorough thought process over a period of time, she decided to end her association with the Congress.

“I came into the fold of INC at the time when it was at its lowest, being defeated in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. I did not walk into the party for any monetary gains, name or fame,” she said.

A few days ago, Khushbu was arrested for attempting to stage a protest against VCK president Thol Thirumavalavan for his hate speech against Hindu women.

Gautami

Gautami Tadimalla is now the national general council member of the BJP. She has worked mainly in Tamil films, although she also appeared in successful Telugu, Malayalam, Hindi and Kannada films. She is also a television actress, television host, the founder of Life Again Foundation, and a costume designer.

She was introduced to Tamil film industry through ‘Guru Shishyan’, a film that starred Rajinikanth and Prabhu. She was most active in Tamil cinema from 1987 to 1998 and was a tough competitor to the other heroines of her time, Kushboo, Revathy, Amala and Bhanupriya.

Namitha

Namitha is now the national general council member of the BJP. Starting her career as a beauty pageant contestant, Namitha was crowned Miss Surat during the year of 1998 at the age of 17.

She went on to participate in the 2001 Miss India pageant and ended up as the third runner-up, while Celina Jaitley was crowned Miss India. The publicity she garnered during the competition prompted her to move to Mumbai and subsequently she did a number of TV commercials.

In the mid-2000s, she was the most popular actress in Tamil cinema. Namitha has developed a cult following in Tamil Nadu as a result of her glamorous appearances in films, with the media regularly looking to feature her in reports.

Gayathri Raghuram

Gayathri was born as the second daughter to dance choreographers Raghuram and Girija Raghuram. Her elder sister Suja is a prominent dancer, who has also previously worked as an actress.

In November 2015, Gayathri was appointed as Bharatiya Janata Party’s secretary for arts in Tamil Nadu. She had earlier joined the party in 2014 in the presence of then BJP president Amit Shah.

Her debut film, Sakthi Chidambaram’s comedy drama ‘Charlie Chaplin’ (2002), featured her in an ensemble cast alongside Prabhu Deva, Prabhu and Abhirami. Gayathri returned to the film industry in 2008 as a choreographer.

Kutty Padmini

Kutty Padmini was a child star in her debut movie ‘Abalai Anjugam’ (1959). She has also acted in Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam and Hindi movies.

She made her debut in Tamil cinema at the age of 3. She has acted with prominent personalities of Tamil cinema, including Sivaji Ganesan, M G Ramachandran, Gemini Ganesan, Jaishankar, Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan.

She was the first female artiste from Tamil Nadu to win the National Film Award for Best Child Artiste for the movie ‘Kuzhandaiyum Deivamum’. The first Tamil child artiste to win the award was Kamal Haasan for ‘Kalathur Kannamma’. She is the executive member of Bharatiya Janata Party Tamil Nadu State Working Committee.

By Naveen

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