New Delhi: Union Minister Smriti Irani, who rose to fame as a popular TV actor, said she quit acting after becoming an MP to focus on her responsibilities as a politician.
"When I came to politics and became an MP, I gave up my job as an actor. If you want to be taken seriously for your political contributions, then you need to give it that much time.
"Only after I settled in my office as a member of Parliament did I put in the time, as much as I can, in my activities of arts and culture," the Minister for Human Resource Development told PTI.
The 38-year-old actor-turned-politician became a household name with her role as 'Tulsi' in producer Ekta Kapoor's television serial "Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi" in mid-2000. She will be seen in soon to release Abhishek Bachchan-starrer "All is Well".
Irani clarified that she took up the movie project before becoming a minister and rued that she was not finding any time for its promotion. "It's not a new movie... And when I had the time nobody else did and now unfortunately we are just not getting to get our schedules together (for promotions),"
Irani, who is member of Rajya Sabha from Gujarat, said, "I am appreciative of Abhishek that he understands my time challenge and time constraint. Currently, I don't have time to even fix my broken arm," she said in a lighter vein.
Irani was one of the finalists of the beauty pageant Miss India in 1998 and subsequently appeared in several television shows such as "Thodi Si Zameen Thoda Sa Aasmaan", "Viruddh" and "Teen Bahuraaniyaan", before joining the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2003.
She holds the record of winning five consecutive Indian Television Academy Awards for Best Actress (Popular), four Indian Telly Awards, eight Star Parivaar Awards.
Irani became vice-president of the Maharashtra BJP Youth Wing in 2004. In the 2004 general elections for the 14th Lok Sabha, she contested unsuccessfully against Kapil Sibal from the Chandni Chowk constituency in Delhi.
In the recent Lok Sabha elections, she contested against Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi in Amethi but lost.