Kannada actress and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member Shruthi says she is ready to resign as chairperson of the Karnataka State Women and Child Welfare Board if the party wants her to do so after her petition seeking divorce from filmmaker S. Mahendar created a stir in political circles.
Shruthi filed for divorce from her husband of 11 years Mahendar, who is also a BJP leader, two weeks ago but said party leaders have assured that her personal decision would not affect her standing in the party.
"Many party leaders, including the state party chief Sadananda Gowda, have spoken to me and they never indicated that they are unhappy with my (divorce) decision. There are some women leaders from the Congress Party who are making hue and cry over a crisis in my personal life. I'm prepared to resign from the post the moment the party asks me to do so. I don't think I have embarrassed the party by deciding to file this divorce petition," Shruthi told IANS.
Shruthi, who last week said she will be marrying journalist-turned-director Chandrachud alias Chakri after her divorce is through, had earlier told IANS that filing for divorce was a difficult decision, but an inevitable one due to a "lot of pain" in her married life. She has an eight-year-old daughter with Mahendar.
Mahendar said he and his family members were "shocked" by Shruthi's decision to file for divorce. He added that their relationship was never strained, as claimed by Shruthi.
Women leaders from various parties are campaigning against Shruthi ever since she filed for divorce and revealed her plans to marry again.
Former BJP legislator and noted legal luminary Prameela Nesargi, also the former chairperson of the board, has expressed her displeasure over the recent developments.
According to party sources, some BJP women leaders have urged the party high command to remove Shruthi from the post as she has brought disgrace to the party.
Gowda is reported to have assured the women leaders that a decision would be taken after consultations with Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa and other party leaders once the results are announced for the ongoing Lok Sabha elections.
Jalaja Naik, leader of the Congress Party's women wing, has also demanded that Shruthi should be removed from the post immediately.
"We feel that the interests of the women will be threatened by such people who occupy premier positions in government, that too connected to women," Naik told IANS.
But Shruthi says that she doesn't see any connection between her being the chairperson and her decision to seek divorce.