Divya Spandana who went by the screen name of Ramya during her successful stint in Kannada films,and who who currents heads the Cong I’s social media team, was hauled over the coals for her alleged connection with financial fugitive Vijay Mallya by a news channel.
But Divya refuses to be cowed down or to disown her past association with Mallaya.
Speaking exclusively to this writer on the morning after the controversy erupted on Arnab Goswami’s channel Republic , Divyasaid, “This was nothing but a bullying tactic to deflect attention from the Piyush Goel controversy. What has my past association with Mr Mallya got to do with the transgression of which he is guilty now?I do not endorse his misdemeanours. At the same time I don’t disown my past association with him.”
According to the Republic channel’s alleged expose, Vijay Mallya allegedly funded Divya’s holiday to Hong Hong in 2010.
Divya cracks up with amusement at what she claims is nothing but a diverting gimmick. “First of all, I wasn’t even in politics in 2010. I was doing very well as an actress, earning enough to not only pay for my own holidays but also for the holidays of many others. And I don’t know how this Channel came to the conclusion that this(2010) was my first visit to Hong Kong or that it was funded by Mr Mallya. I had visited Hong Kong on a number of occasions before that .”
The doughty associate of Rahul Gandhi is not about to disown her past association with Mallya. “Is Mr Mallya a family friend? Yes, he is. And I am not about to shrug that off. Does that mean I endorse his monetary misdemeanours? Not at all. I am completely in favour of his being tried for whatever financial irregularities he is accused of committing.”
Divya says the Congress I high command has absolutely nothing to say about this supposed skeleton from her closet.
She laughs heartily, “It is no skeleton. I am not even trying to deny the association. But I am amused at the lengths to which certain sections of the media go to deflect attention from actual issues.And to suggest that my holidays need to be paid for by someone else is a highly misogynistic idea , best left to the news Channel to chew on and spit out.”
Divya says the party is now preparing for a victory in the next Lok Sabha elections. “We have a voice of only 44 people in the parliament. Yet that voice is being heard. Isn’t that something? I sincerely feel Mr Rahul Gandhi is ready to take over the reins of the country. I’d rather invest my time and energy is preparing for our victory in the next elections than focusing on some laughable controversy generated by a TRP-hungry news channel.”