She is a star campaigner for the DMK. An actor for more than two decades and now a politician Khushbu Sundar explains why the DMK is not against Hindi, why there wasn’t a 2G ‘scam’, why the Alagiri-Stalin tiff has not affected the party and her reservations about a Narendra Modi government. Excerpts of an interview to Viju Cherian:
Why should people vote for the DMK?
A: The people of Tamil Nadu have already seen the kind of development the DMK government has done, while it was in government in the state and at the Centre. And today they are seeing what the AIADMK government has provided. When Jayalalithaa came to power in 2011 she promised that in six months the whole state would have electricity and the surplus would be given to other states. That’s not the case today. There is 12-14 hours load-shedding in towns and in the rural areas it is up to 18 hours.
What is your take on the 2G scam?
A: It is not a scam. It is a scam because we give it such a name. Where will a man steal Rs22,000Cr and take it? It’s as simple as that. Rs22,000Cr is a huge, huge amount. In what ways has the government of India incurred a revenue loss of this amount? You cannot accuse a person just because he [A Raja] was in power then and crucify him and say that he is convicted and thus should be crucified. If the accused is convicted before the court convicts him, the I think Jayalalithaa must have been convicted 19 years back when she was accused in the disproportionate assets case in Bangalore.
So there was no irregularity?
A: That is what we would like to believe.
Has the differences between MK Alagiri and MK Stalin affected the party?
There has been no effect on the party. In fact the DMK’s ratings among the people have risen from where it was in January. It is for everyone to see and they do understand that the next successor in the party after ‘Thalaivar’ is going to be Stalin. There are no two ways about it.
On April 10 in Coimbatore you addressed a rally in Hindi and Karunanidhi did not take it well.
What he said was that Hindi should not be pushed down our throats. The 70s agitation was not against Hindi.... The place where I spoke in Coimbatore is a Hindi belt. We [DMK] have never been against Hindi. Tamil Nadu today is home for people from different parts of the country. I, born and brought up in Mumbai, am settled in Tamil Nadu.
What is your view on Narendra Modi?
He’s a great orator. He has his charm of pulling the public towards him but I want a very secular place for my country. My only fear [if he comes to power] is that the minorities might get suppressed further. That is my fear. All communities must live in harmony.
What is your opinion about Rahul Gandhi?
He needs to definitely hone his skills when it comes to orating. He needs to come a bit closer to reality. He gives the impression that he is still cocooned within four walls. On the contrary, as a woman I feel great about Sonia Gandhi holding a position of such great esteem. I feel Sonia Gandhi connects a bit more with the people than Rahul.
What do you think about AAP?
My sympathies lie with Arvind Kejriwal because I feel that any person needs to be respected and I condemn the attacks on him.
What is your opinion about the NDA alliance in Tamil Nadu?
It is called the rainbow party. Tamil Nadu is one of the places where the BJP is the weakest. There are certain places where it is strong, like in Kanyakumari people say that Pon Raadhakrishnan will win, but the final picture will be out only on May 16.