Khushboo Joins DMK

Khushboo Joins DMK
Fresh from a legal victory in the four-year-long pre-marital sex case, popular South Indian actress Khushboo today took a plunge into politics by joining the DMK, with her entry seen as a prize catch for the ruling party just a year ahead of the Tamil Nadu Assembly elections.

She enrolled herself as a primary member in presence of Chief Minister and DMK patriarch M Karunanidhi at the party headquarters here, contrary to her earlier hints about preferring Congress.

"I never said I would join Congress," said Khushboo, who has a considerable fan following in the state with even a temple built for her in Perambalur district.

The 39-year-old actress was cleared by the Supreme Court last month of the 22 cases against her for her remarks on pre-martial sex in an interview to a magazine in 2005.

She said DMK alone was working for betterment of women while Karunanidhi described her as a progressive woman.

"I think I am going to work...I have already said as soon as I had won the Supreme Court verdict that I want to work for the betterment of women. That is going to be my main criteria. I have to work on that," she said.

"So far,I have been expressing my views freely and frankly. But hereafter, I have to measure my words as per the party line."

Her entry into DMK is seen by political observers as the party's answer to charismatic AIADMK chief Jayalalithaa.

Asked whether Khushboo would be fielded against Jayalalithaa in next year's assembly polls, Karunanidhi replied in the negative.

Khushboo has acted in over 100 films, pairing with superstars including Rajnikanth, Kamal Hassan and Malayalam actors Mammootty and Mohanlal and Vishnuvardhan in Kannada.

Karunanidhi said he was fascinated by her acting in Tamil film "Periyar", in which she essayed the role of Maniammai, wife of social reformer E V Ramasamy.

"She was totally dedicated to the principles of late Periyar and that was why she could play the role beautifully," he said.

He said Khushboo had been talking to DMK leaders, including himself, for the past one month on joining the party.

Asked whether Khushboo would be given an important position in the party, he evaded a direct reply, saying she would be treated like any other member of DMK women's wing.

"Myself, Anbalagan (DMK general secretary) and Stalin (deputy chief minister and Karunanidhi's son) have risen to this position through our hard work," he said.

Reminded about her earlier remarks that Congress was a party which she liked, Khushboo said as a woman coming from Mumbai she had seen the party's work there and admired it.
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