Sumalatha to consult supporters before supporting BJP

Sumalatha to consult supporters before supporting BJP

Bengaluru: Newly-elected Mandya MP, Sumalatha Ambareesh, meets BJP state president BS Yeddyurappa and senior leader SM Krishna, in Bengaluru, Sunday, May 26, 2019. Ambareesh is the first ever woman independent MP elected in Karnataka. (PTI Photo)

Multilingual actress and independent candidate from Mandya Lok Sabha seat, Sumalatha Ambareesh, who defeated Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy's son Nikhil, on Sunday, thanked BJP for its support and said she would decide on supporting the party after consulting supporters and voters.

Sumalatha met state BJP chief B S Yeddyurappa and another senior party leader and former Chief Minister S M Krishna and thanked them for their support for her victory in Mandya. BJP had supported Sumalatha by not fielding any candidate against her.

"I want to clarify one thing that if an independent candidate wins, there is no provision in our constitution for him or her to join a party, but can support...there is a provision to give issue based support, this is what I have got to know," she said.

She said, "I have been saying that the opinion of people is important to me. I have plans to go to every taluk in Mandya to thank voters during which I will consult my supporters and followers on what steps I have to take in the interest of Mandya. After taking their opinion I will come to a decision on this."

Thanking BJP for its support to her victory, Sumalatha congratulated the saffron party for its win both nationally and in Karnataka, by terming the landslide win as "tsunami".

Pointing out that her win was "historic", she credited the people of Mandya and supporters from across the party for it. In a huge embarrassment to Kumaraswamy, his son Nikhil was defeated by Sumalatha by 1,25,876 votes in Mandya in a bitterly contested campaign.

Sumalatha (55) is the widow of the popular actor-turned-politician, the late M H Ambareesh. She had initially sought a ticket from Congress, the party from which her husband had represented Mandya in the past, but it was denied citing coalition compulsions as it had to cede the constituency to JD(S), as per the seat sharing arrangement.

Several Congress leaders and workers were miffed over their party's decision to cede the seat to JD(S) and did not campaign for Nikhil, upset over certain comments by Kumaraswamy allegedly against them.

Many of them had extended support to Sumalatha and had campaigned for her openly with the Congress flag, despite the party warning against it.

Congratulating Sumalatha for her victory in Mandya, Yeddyurappa said she would take a decision on her association with BJP after consulting her supporters and voters.

"After knowing the opinion of voters of her constituency, she will let us know about her stand," he said in response to a question about inviting Sumalatha to BJP or her willingness to join the party.

BJP, which has very less presence in Mandya, decided to support Sumalatha as it saw the party's prospects increasing its base there with her win.

Despite losing the Lok Sabha by-polls in November 2018, the saffron party had made significant inroads by securing 2,44,404 votes, its best performance there.