Union Minister D V Sadananda Gowda said the BJP is hoping to make inroads into the Vokkaliga heartland of Mandya and eventually uproot the JD(S) from its bastion by supporting Sumalatha Ambareesh, who is contesting as an Independent candidate.
During an interaction with DH and Prajavani on Monday, Gowda also said the BJP is hopeful of Sumalatha joining the party, if she wins the elections against the JD(S) candidate, Nikhil Kumaraswamy.
“Practically in Mandya, our strength is very less. It is our intention that the party which is strong there, should be smashed first. This time our intention is to ensure that the JD(S) is sent out of Mandya,” he said, explaining his party’s decision to back Sumalatha.
When asked if this strategy would work, Gowda said, “Certainly it will happen. So many things have happened in this country. Nobody thought that JD(S) supremo H D Deve Gowda will become the prime minister or that I will become the chief minister. I was not even a minister. But I was directly made the chief minister. So many things happen in politics.”
He also said that Sumalatha is grateful to the BJP for extending its support to her. “If Sumalatha wins, I hope that she will join the BJP,” said Gowda. “She has gone independently, and we have extended support, which she has welcomed. She is very happy that the BJP has given her support. When she comes to the Parliament, three-fourth of the Parliament will be occupied by the BJP members. She will have to sit amid all of us. So, automatically she will be part of us.”
Earlier in the day, the actor called on BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa and expressed her gratitude to the party for supporting her and deciding not to field a candidate. “They voluntarily offered me support without any conditions. I am grateful to them,” she said.