Karnataka’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday announced it had nothing to do with Ragini Dwivedi, a ‘Sandalwood’ (Kannada film industry) starlet arrested in a sensational drugs scandal.
“We disown Ragini Dwivedi,” said BJP spokesperson Captain Ganesh Karnik, saying that she was one of the hundreds of celebrities who campaigned for BJP “voluntarily”.
“Hundreds of celebrities from different walks of life campaigned for the BJP voluntarily during the 2019 by-elections. The Kannada cine actress may have been one among them,” he said.
According to Karnik, Ragini is neither a member of the BJP nor the party had assigned her any election duty.
“Ragini Dwivedi is not a member of the BJP. Nor the BJP had assigned her the responsibility of electioneering. She may have been involved in the campaign on her own,” he said.
The BJP is neither accountable nor answerable for her deeds in her personal capacity or professional life, he added.
“We have nothing to do with it and we maintain distance from it,” he said.
Karnik stressed that the BJP is totally against any sort of anti-social activity by anybody.
State BJP media joint convenor B.N. Raghavendra and convenor A. H. Anand endorsed Karnik’s statement.
In July, Ragini had rubbed shoulders with Chief Minister B.S. Yediyurappa at a programme aimed at fighting coronavirus.
She took part in a short rally with Yediyurappa outside the Vidhana Soudha along with several other ministers and senior officials such as former cricketer Anil Kumble, Bengaluru South MP Tejasvi Surya, Revenue Minister R. Ashok and others.
Wearing blue sportswear, she stood right behind the Chief Minister on the stage.
Ragini also shared stage with politicians from different parties when she was part of launching packaged drinking water at Rs 9.90 per litre on July 31.
She has also campaigned for plasma donation to treat Covid.
The actress popular with most parties, celebrities and social circles in Bengaluru was arrested by the Central Crime Branch (CCB) sleuths on Friday for her alleged links with the drugs scandal rocking the Kannada film industry.
Earlier on Friday, seven CCB sleuths, including a woman police inspector, raided her flat to find out if banned drugs were kept there. According to police sources, cigarettes with ganja were found in her flat during the raid.
The CCB also filed a FIR against Ragini in the Cottonpet police station in the city centre under the Narcotic Drug and Psychotropic Services Act.
Ragini debuted in the film industry in 2009 with “Veera Madakari” and gained fame for stellar roles in movies such as “Kempe Gowda”, “Ragini IPS”, “Bangari” and “Shiva”.