BJP does not understand self-respect of southern states: Vijayashanthi

Hyderabad, May 17 (IANS): Actor-politician Vijayashanthi, who has been lying low since leaving the BJP to join the Congress in November last year, on Friday said that the BJP does not understand the self-respect and regional aspirations of the southern states.

Vijayashanthi, who did not contest the Lok Sabha elections and also stayed away from the Congress campaign, in a post on X, criticised Union Minister and state BJP President G. Kishan Reddy for claiming that the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) will no longer exist in Telangana.

The veteran film star wrote that southern states have been following the path of regional emotions and public sentiments for their self-esteem. Those who don’t understand this should know how people responded to leaders from Karunanidhi, M.G. Ramachandran, N.T. Rama Rao, Ramakrishna Hegde and Jayalalithaa to the BRS and YSR Congress Party (YSRCP), she added.

Vijayashanthi said while the Congress understands the existence of self-respect in the south, the BJP has perhaps not even thought of it and this is reflected in Kishan Reddy’s statement.

Her comments to defend the BRS triggered speculations in political circles that she may be planning to return to the party. She, however, denied any such plans.

Vijayashanthi, who was a BJP national executive member, defected to the Congress just two weeks before Telangana Assembly elections.

It was in December 2020 that Vijayashanthi returned to the BJP after 15 years.

Popular as ‘Lady Amitabh’ for her action roles in Telugu films, she joined the BJP in 1997 and served as General Secretary of the party’s women’s wing. She quit the BJP in 2005 to float a separate outfit, Talli Telangana, to fight for separate statehood for Telangana. She later merged Talli Telangana with the TRS (now BRS) and was elected to the Lok Sabha from the Medak constituency in 2009.

In August 2013, a few months before the formation of Telangana, the TRS suspended Vijayashanthi for anti-party activities. She later joined the Congress and unsuccessfully contested from the Medak Assembly constituency in the 2014 polls.

After lying low for four years, Vijayashanthi again became active in Congress in 2017 and was named its star campaigner for the party in the 2018 Assembly polls. After the party’s debacle, she was not active in the party and returned to BJP in 2020.

Vijayashanthi, whose film career spans nearly four decades, has acted in over 180 films in Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, Kannada, and Hindi.



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