Cong, JD(S) offered sops so that I back out: Sumalatha

Cong, JD(S) offered sops so that I back out: Sumalatha

JD(S) state president H Vishwanth greets Sumalatha Ambareesh, independent candidate of Mandya Lok Sabha constituency, at Meet the Press programme organised by Press Club of Bengaluru and Bengaluru Reporters Guild, at Press Club, in Bengaluru on Thursday.

Actor Sumalatha said on Thursday that both the Congress and the JD(S) tried to dissuade her from contesting the Mandya Lok Sabha election by making her offers that included a Rajya Sabha ticket and and a ministerial berth.

“I have been facing tremendous pressure. Contesting elections was a difficult choice,” Sumalatha, who is contesting as an independent, said during an interaction with reporters. The wife of late actor-turned-politician Ambareesh is up against Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy’s son Nikhil, in what promises to be an epic battle.

“While Congress offered me a ticket from any constituency in Bengaluru and assured that I would be made a Rajya Sabha member, the JD(S) offered to nominate me as a member of the Legislative Council followed by a ministerial berth,” she said.

However, she said the people of Mandya and several Congress workers urged her to contest from Mandya only, either on a Congress ticket or as an independent. The Congress denied her the ticket as the Mandya Lok Sabha seat was conceded to the JD(S).

There is disquiet among Congress leaders in Mandya because the party leadership did not consult them over fielding a candidate in the constituency, Sumalatha said. “Today, several Congress leaders and party workers are reluctant to back the JD(S) candidate,” she said. A section of Congress leaders has been tacitly supporting Sumalatha, much to the displeasure of the Congress-JD(S) coalition.

She took a dig at JD(S) leaders for personal attacks based on her caste. “Such personal attacks, only to meet political ends, is against our culture. In his long political career, Ambareesh hadn’t spoken ill of any candidate for the sake of winning elections,”she said.