Water Resources Minister D K Shivakumar on Monday announced that the contentious Mandya seat will be contested by the JD(S) and not the Congress. “The JD(S) has won in Mandya. Hence, the regional party itself will contest from the constituency,” Shivakumar told reporters in Bengaluru.
Shivakumar’s announcement caught many by surprise, especially the local Congress workers and leaders of Mandya, who have been trying to impress upon the state leaders to field Sumalatha Ambareesh, wife of the late actor-turned-politician M H Ambareesh from the constituency.
Sumalatha herself has said that she was hoping to contest elections in Mandya on a Congress ticket, given that her husband himself was a Congress leader for several years.
Rumours were rife that the Congress might contest the JD(S)’s demand to field its candidate from Mandya, given that the rivalry between the parties is legendary in the Old Mysore region.
The JD(S) however has not budged from its stance, arguing that it has won all the seven seats in the district during the Assembly elections held last May.
The JD(S) leadership has zeroed in on Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy’s son Nikhil Kumar for Mandya.
Shivakumar also went on to add that the Congress would hold talks with Sumalatha and dissuade her from contesting the elections.
“There will be many opportunities for Sumalatha in politics. The party leaders will explain the situation to her and persuade her,” he added.
Shivakumar will fly to the business capital at 4.55 pm on Tuesday, where he will halt the night. The two-day conference is being held on January 16 and 17 in Aurangabad. The minister is scheduled to fly back to Bengaluru on January 17.
Shivakumar had on Sunday said he was aware that his party MLAs were lodged in Mumbai and that the party would take stock of the situation.
When asked about the latest developments, Shivakumar said his party, too, had some tricks up its sleeve. “All these days, we were not indulging in politics. Now we will,” he said.
Sources, however, said that the Congress had not asked Shivakumar to go bring the MLAs back. “There is no need for us to do that. The BJP does not have the adequate numbers. Shivakumar will of course be keeping an eye on the MLAs,” said a Congress leader.