In Mandya, Sumalatha jolt for JD(S)

Independent candidate Sumalatha Ambareesh flashes the victory sign after defeating JD(S) candidate Nikhil Kumaraswamy, son of Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, in the Mandya Lok Sabha seat on May 23, 2019. PTI

A history of sorts was created in Mandya on Thursday as Independent candidate A Sumalatha trounced JD(S)-Congress coalition candidate Nikhil Kumaraswamy in a high stakes contest that had become the talking point of people and pundits.

Sumalatha is the wife of late actor-turned-politician M H Ambareesh, while Nikhil is the son of Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and grandson of former PM H D Deve Gowda.

Sumalatha will be the first woman Independent candidate to be elected from Karnataka to the Lok Sabha and the third Independent candidate to be elected from Karnataka to the Lok Sabha after a long gap of 52 years.

The constituency, which is considered a Vokkaliga bastion, has for the first time elected a non-Vokkaliga besides recording an all-time high polling percentage of 80.23% in the state.  

In Mandya, except for leaders like former minister M S Athmananda, ex-MLC Madhu Madegowda and previous Assembly candidate Ganiga Ravikumar, most of the Congress leaders, either directly or indirectly, supported Sumalatha. Seven Congress leaders — KPCC member Sachidananda, Shasikumar, Arvind Kumar, Vijay Kumar, Manjunath, Chandru, Krishnegowda — were suspended for anti-party activities.

All the Congress leaders who supported Sumalatha in the polls were said to have the blessings of Siddaramaiah.

 

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