Bengaluru: Actor-politician Divya Spandana, also known as Ramya, has resurfaced on social media after a year-long hiatus. The former Congress social media head disappeared from the online world in June last year, nearly a month after the party’s rout in the Lok Sabha elections.
It was said at the time that she wanted to take a break from politics.
Last month, making a comeback on social media, the former Lok Sabha MP posted a series of her photographs, saying it was in deference to demands from followers.
“It’s been a little over a year since my last photo post and just as I began to engage slowly with pictures of trees, birds, books and my dogs I was inundated with ‘post a selfie, haven’t seen you in ages’. So I thought why not- and I failed miserably… P.S the pictures aren’t photoshopped, I may have cropped a few though Also, please note, I’m much more than my pictures,” she wrote in a Facebook post accompanying multiple photos.
ThePrint tried to reach Ramya through multiple calls and texts for a comment on her radio silence over the past year, but received no response. Party leaders insist she remains a part of the Congress, though they claim to have no idea about her online absence. Sources close to her said she may soon be back on the big screen.
A controversial presence
Ramya began her career in cinema in 2003 and acted in several southern films. She joined the Indian National Congress in 2012. In 2013, she contested and won the Mandya seat in the Lok Sabha bypolls necessitated by the resignation of JD(S) MP N. Cheluvarayaswamy, who vacated the seat after being elected to the assembly.
At 31, she was one of the youngest parliamentarians in the country. However, in the following general election, she lost to C.S. Puttaraju of the JD(S).
As the Congress’ social media head, Ramya was known to post hard-hitting tweets, but she also found herself courting controversy on multiple occasions — for example, when she compared Modi to bird-dropping in a photo of him near the Statue of Unity in Gujarat.
She disappeared from the media glare after the Congress, in the wake of its 2019 drubbing, announced that none of their leaders would participate in television debates. She was subsequently removed from the post.
Ramya’s last political tweet was on 2 June 2019 when she congratulated Nirmala Sitharaman on her new charge as finance minister. She retweeted the Congress’ and Rahul Gandhi’s tweets on the return of Sonia Gandhi as the party president, and then went off the radar. She deactivated her Twitter account, and only reactivated it last month.
Speaking to ThePrint, senior leaders in the Congress said they were clueless about her “vanishing act”. “She is very much part of the Congress party. She has neither resigned or expressed her desire to leave the party,” said a senior Congress functionary, who did not want to be named.
Mandya district Congress president C.D. Gangadhar echoed the statement. He claimed she had been in touch with him “early on but has been out of action since being relived of her role as social media head”.
Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee president D.K. Shivakumar did not want to comment on Ramya and her political absence.
A source close to Ramya said she is busy signing movies and one can expect her soon on the big screen. In 2019, the teaser to her movie Dil Ka Raja with actor Prajwal Devaraj was released. She was last seen in Kannada movie Nagarahavu, released in 2016.
Mandya Congress leader M.S. Atmananda said the former MP had not visited the constituency since late 2017, and was not seen participating in rallies for the 2018 assembly and 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it
You are reading this because you value good, intelligent and objective journalism. We thank you for your time and your trust.
You also know that the news media is facing an unprecedented crisis. It is likely that you are also hearing of the brutal layoffs and pay-cuts hitting the industry. There are many reasons why the media’s economics is broken. But a big one is that good people are not yet paying enough for good journalism.
We have a newsroom filled with talented young reporters. We also have the country’s most robust editing and fact-checking team, finest news photographers and video professionals. We are building India’s most ambitious and energetic news platform. And have just turned three.
At ThePrint, we invest in quality journalists. We pay them fairly. As you may have noticed, we do not flinch from spending whatever it takes to make sure our reporters reach where the story is.
This comes with a sizable cost. For us to continue bringing quality journalism, we need readers like you to pay for it.
If you think we deserve your support, do join us in this endeavour to strengthen fair, free, courageous and questioning journalism. Please click on the link below. Your support will define ThePrint’s future.