Chandigarh MP Kirron Kher dismisses reports that she is unavailable to public

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Chandigarh, May 28: Actor-turned-BJP MP Kirron Kher on Thursday dismissed as "baseless" reports that most of her time was consumed in shooting for films and reality shows, asserting that she was very much available to the people of this Union Territory.

59-year-old Kirron, who is one of the judges of the new season of TV show 'India's Got Talent', when asked that people here complain that she devotes more time to reality shows and is seen less in her constituency, said, "this is not true,this is baseless".

Kirron, who was earlier Mumbai-based, has a parental house in Chandigarh, but had to fight the "outsider" tag when she fought the Lok Sabha polls last year from Chandigarh, which she won trouncing Congress' veteran leader and former Union Minister, Pawan Kumar Bansal.

Kirron, wife of noted Bollywood actor Anupam Kher, said that even before contesting the polls from here she had made it clear that she would be doing 'India's Got Talent' show.

"But this year I refused three films, which I should not have refused because it is my profession. If one becomes lawyer or doctor or a professor, one does not leave the profession. If I am not able to run my home, how can I run the country.

"I have to run my home, it involves money, I get Rs 50,000 per month (as MP) on which tax is also imposed, a person like me has to manage three homes; had I contested anywhere from Bombay (Mumbai), it would have been easy for me. A house in Delhi and Chandigarh, the one at Mumbai is managed by Anupam, all these expenses are high," she said responding in detail to the question that she was not available to the people of her constituency.

Kirron, who was addressing a press conference here, further said, even the films like Khubsoorat, Punjab 1984, Total Siyapaa had been done by her way back in 2013.

"Unfortunately, I have not been able to see any of these films of mine because I have found no time to watch them in the theatre," she said.

Continuing to respond to the same question, she further stated, "I have to be in Delhi for six months to attend the Parliament because of which I am out of Chandigarh. The remaining six months, I am here. Someone (media) wrote I was seen here only on two occasions."

"In January and February, I was here and in late February (this year) I went to Delhi to attend the Parliament session. From March 8, I went for India's Got Talent show, where everyone adjusted for me because they did not want me to leave the show and kept the shooting dates over the weekends. In between, when Parliament was on, from Monday to Friday, I used to be there. On Friday nights, I used to travel to Mumbai for the show. On early Monday morning, I used to take flight back to Delhi to attend the Parliament. It's a difficult job," she stressed. 

Kirron Kher further said, "... I have been available to my people over phone. My conscience knows that my priority is Chandigarh. Those who want to criticise they are free to do. I have left my house, my husband and my family to be among people here.

"Tomorrow, I will go to Mumbai to shoot for India's Got Talent show. My husband will be travelling to Singapore tonight, I will not be able to meet him. Then, I will return here. So, our life is difficult..."

She said, "We are professional people including my husband, we are dependent on producers, we are dependent on other people, on contracts. People try to create this impression that I am not available." She said even her appointment with doctor has been on hold for a year.

"I have not been able to find time to visit a dentist.So, please (asking the reporter who put the question) don't say this, it hurts me," she said.

Meanwhile, she said that 40 million gallons per day additional water will now be available to the people of Chandigarh. Kirron virtually ruled out feasibility of Metro rail for Chandigarh, saying it is a small city having around 11 lakh population, Metro will not be practically and economically feasible.

Asked for her comments if she would favour transfer of Chandigarh to either Punjab or Haryana as both the States often stake their claim over it, she said it should retain the status of a Union Territory. She also did not favour that Chandigarh should have its own state assembly, saying it is not feasible.

Asked that when Narendra Modi Government talks about affordable housing, at the same time Chandigarh Housing Board was planning to come out with a two-bedroom MIG flat costing around Rs 70 lakh per unit, making it unaffordable to vast majority.

Kirron Kher said because of limited availability of land in Chandigarh the cost escalation was there, but still she will raise the matter with the Board and try to reduce the price of the housing units of the upcoming project.

When asked that she was a votary of gay rights, she replied, "...When I talk about educating people or change of mindsets, it includes liberal in mindsets, while respecting our traditions, I think that is the beauty of India."

"But our traditions, unfortunately, having crystallised around to becoming some sort of moral, social code, which is applicable to only certain people, which is not right. We should have equality and justice for all.

"People whether in gay community or women, I call them under privileged, they are not given equal space in society, in law they may enjoy equal space...," she added.

PTI

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