Chennai | Well-known actor Gautami Tadimalla on Monday said she was ending her 25-year old association with the BJP, alleging among others, support from a section of the party to a man whom she charged with having cheated her.
Despite the party "rescinding" in the last minute, its assurance to give her a ticket in the 2021 Assembly polls in the state, she remained committed to the BJP, Tadimalla said in a statement uploaded on her X account.
She said she has decided to resign from the party with a "heavy heart and disillusionment" and tagged BJP national president J P Nadda and the saffron party's TN chief K Annamalai among others in her social media post.
Tadimalla alleged a particular person "has swindled me of my money, property and documents."
She said she was acquainted with him 20 years ago and had entrusted with him the sale and documents of several of her lands. She found out recently he had defrauded her.
"....not only do I not have any support from the party and leaders, but it has also come to my knowledge that several amongst them have been actively helping and supporting the very person who has betrayed my trust and cheated me of my life earnings," she said in the detailed statement.
She recalled that she has lodged complaints with the police about the cheating and said she has hope in Chief Minister M K Stalin and the judicial system to ensure her justice.
Tadimalla further said she was entrusted with the development of the Rajapalayam constituency during the 2021 polls and assured she will be fielded from there, following which she dedicated herself to the strengthening of the party at the grassroots level.
"However, this assurance to contest was rescinded at the last minute. Regardless, I maintained my commitment to the party," she said but expressed regret that even after 25 years of service to the organisation, there was no support.
Several senior members of the party were "enabling" the man who had cheated her in "dodging justice and absconding since the last 40 days even after FIRs have been filed."
She said she was writing the letter of resignation "in great pain and sorrow, but with very firm resolve."
Responding, BJP's Tamil Nadu vice president Narayanan Thirupathy wondered how the party could intervene in such a "private matter" since the man she was accusing was holding no position in the organisation.
Further, her allegation that some leaders were aiding that man also was not proper, he said in a post on X.
He described as a "contradiction", Gautami having entrusted property-related documents with that man after knowing him for 20 years and now blaming the BJP for allegedly not helping her in the issue.
Also, the man concerned would have been acquainted with BJP leaders only through her since she has been in the party for long, he said adding she could have taken up the matter with the party leadership if something was indeed wrong. She was not cheated by any party functionary.
Also, her contention that the party rescinded on its word on an election ticket in the last minute in 2021 showed a "lack of political maturity."
Her statement that she was denied ticket in the last minute itself makes it clear the party wanted to field her from Rajapalayam but could not do so due to alliance, he said.
"Therefore, there is no link between her problem (of getting cheated) and the party and it is all her own doing. She has filed police complaint" and the man accused should be enquired, Thirupathy said.
"We are ready to provide whatever help we can to Gautami. Would be happy if she withdraws the emotional decision of quitting the party, else it shall be her personal decision," he added.