Congress at sea over ‘missing’ Ambi

Suspense continued on Sunday on whether actor-turned-politician M H Ambareesh would contest the May 12 Assembly polls as the Congress candidate from Mandya constituency.

Ambareesh has literally gone out of reach of the party ever since the Congress announced him as its candidate from Mandya seat. He has neither collected his ‘B form’ from the party nor has he visited the constituency so far.

Sources close to the leader said the ‘rebel’ star, as he is popularly known in Sandalwood, is not willing to contest the elections. The main reason being a disconnect with the electorate. He has hardly interacted with his constituency people after he was dropped from the Cabinet in 2016. Moreover, he is not keeping well.

Infighting escalates

Sources in the state Congress said he is upset with the party for not taking him into confidence while finalising the candidates for other constituencies in Mandya district.

Infighting in the Congress unit of Mandya district has intensified after senior leader N Chaluvarayaswamy joined the party from JD(S).

Chaluvarayaswamy, the Congress candidate from Nagamangala constituency, is a close confidant of Chief Minister Siddaramaiah.

A missing-in-action Ambareesh has left the Congress leaders worried. Efforts by Siddaramaiah and KPCC president G Parameshwara to reach him have gone in vain.

Though the Mandya leader had promised to meet Parameshwara in Bengaluru on Saturday, he did not turn up. The party, as a result, is exploring the possibility of replacing him with some other leader in Mandya, sources said.

The Congress gave Ambareesh the ticket as it lacked a leader of the potential to take on the JD(S), which has fielded two-time legislator M Srinivas. The party may replace Ambareesh with his follower Amaravathi Chandrashekar if the actor firmly refuses to contest. 

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