With actor Sumalatha Ambareesh becoming more firm on her contest from Mandya Lok Sabha constituency, in the upcoming polls, the JD(S) leaders, especially Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and his son Nikhil, are contemplating on a contest from Mysuru-Kodagu constituency.
The fact became evident with the appeal of Nikhil, who had been nurturing Mandya segment since the last Assembly polls itself. He appealed, in a civic reception to Kumaraswamy in Mysuru on Saturday, to allow him to grow in politics in Mysuru. Following the death of Ambareesh, Sumalatha has been seeking people’s support to contest from Mandya, even if the Congress, a partner in the JD(S)-Congress coalition, does not get to field its candidate.
It has be recalled that L R Shivaramegowda of the JD(S) had been elected from the constituency almost unopposed, with the BJP coming a far second, in the bypolls. The cry for fielding Nikhil from Mandya came soon after Shivaramegowda’s election.
As Mandya segment is deemed to be the safest, besides Hassan segment, for the JD(S) in the entire state, Nikhil was eyeing it, while Prajwal, his cousin is eyeing Hassan. Only last week, Kumaraswamy had launched works worth Rs 5,000 crore in Mandya. Since his taking charge as CM, Kumaraswamy has been showering goodies on Mandya district, besides his native Hassan and his constituency of Ramanagara.
However, the claim by Sumalatha has been getting more support from the people in Mandya. It includes the whole of Mandya district with seven Assembly constituencies and KR Nagar constituency of Mysuru district, all represented by the JD(S). It has to be noted that Ambareesh had indirectly helped the JD(S) in these Vokkaliga dominated constituencies, by declining to contest on a Congress ticket in the last Assembly election. In earlier polls also, Ambareesh had aided select JD(S) candidates in the district to win the polls.
Relationship turns sour
The cordial relationship between the families of former prime minister H D Deve Gowda and Ambareesh is well known. In fact, Ambareesh made his electoral debut from the then Janata Dal in 1998, even though he joined the Congress in 1994. Besides, Nikhil and Abhishek are contemporaries and good friends. Since the discussion on the election in Mandya began, the relationship was turning sour.
Insiders in the JD(S) said, Nikhil might have made the appeal on Friday, during the civic reception, at the insistence of the ‘elders’. It has to be noted that the civic reception by the JD(S) was organised in a short notice. It was attended by a large number of people from all over Mysuru district.
Mysuru has always been the bastion of the Congress, since Independence, except twice, when the BJP won. The Janata Parivar has never had a MP representing Mysuru. “If Nikhil contests, he has all chances of winning. It will be the first victory for the JD(S) in Mysuru,” said N R Ravichandregowda, JD(S) spokesperson.
Meanwhile, Sumalatha, along with her supporters, including producer Rockline Venkatesh, sought the blessing of Suttur seer Shivaratri Deshikendra Swami, on Saturday.