Veteran film actor and member of Parliament from Chandigarh, Kirron Kher, well known for her roles as a loving and doting mother on the silver screen, was all over the front pages of the local newspapers on Saturday (May 21) for her angry outburst on not finding her name on plaques commemorating the laying of foundation stones.
The BJP MP was invited on Saturday to a series of foundation stone-laying ceremonies at the Punjab Engineering College University of Technology, a Centrally-funded institution. Haryana and Punjab governor Kaptan Singh Solanki was to do the honours.
The university had four projects for which ceremonies were to held. These included a new academic block, the Kalpana Chawla Girls' hostel, the Mango Grove garden and the PEC community centre. Kher's name was mentioned only on the plaque commemorating the foundation stone-laying ceremony at the new academic block.
An accomplished actor and a judge at various TV shows, Kher took no time in rebuking the director of the institute, Manoj K Arora, publicly and expressing her anger for the missing name.
"What's this Manoj? My name is missing from some plaques and is written at the very bottom in one plaque," she said and asked him to take "note" that she had been taking up issues relating to the institute with the Centre.
Even as the embarrassed officials scurried for cover, she said even protocol demanded that her name was engraved on foundation stones when she was around. The officials sought to explain by saying that the plaque where the main function was being held, at the new academic Block, carried her name but offered their apology and said they would rectify the error.
This was not the first time that the BJP MP, who defeated former Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal and fellow actor Gul Panag of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) to enter the Lok Sabha, had been upset at not finding her name appropriately written on plaques.
Earlier this year, she had taken on Railway officials at the inauguration of a skill development centre. She objected to her name below that of the divisional railway manager on the plaque.
Speaking to the media she said that she he felt slighted in the past too and alleged it was being deliberately done to take away credit from the BJP. She said her office had informed the institution about her presence at the functions so it should have taken due note.
It is well known that she was instrumental in the sudden transfer of the previous Chandigarh UT advisor, the high profile Vijay Dev, who had been hitting headlines and hogging publicity. BJP leaders had been complaining about his style of functioning and also accused him of ignoring them and the local MP.
Although Kher takes the front row at the various functions, the only exception she made last week was for a play Maine Aisa To Nahin Kaha Tha where her husband Anupam Kher was in the lead role. He explained later that he felt uncomfortable if he found anyone known in the front row and had requested her to sit at the back. Aaccordingly, she sat in the fourth row.