It's Mandya or nothing, says Sumalatha

Sumalatha

For somebody who had not nursed any political ambitions in the past, actor Sumalatha Ambareesh, wife of late actor-turned-politician M H Ambareesh is now seen making a desperate foray into the political realm. This, despite the Congress dithering to field her from Mandya. With speculations rife that she might be cajoled by the grand old party to contest from some other constituency, Sumalatha, in an interaction with Ashwini Y S, says it is "Mandya or nothing". Excerpts.

Q) The Congress has ceded Mandya to JD(S). It is rumoured that you might now contest from Bangalore South.

I have made my stand very clear - I am not interested in contesting elections from anywhere, but in Mandya. I am not entering politics just for the sake of it or to use the sympathy wave to get whatever seat or post I can get. Ambareesh has contributed a lot to Mandya, but people had always underestimated his capabilities. It is time for me rectify that. Also, Ambareesh believed that it is the people of Mandya who shaped his political career, and that he owes a lot to them. If I don’t stand by them, then I’ll be letting them down.

Q) There are speculations that you may contest as an Independent

The talks with the Congress are still on. In politics, anything can happen in the last minute. I would still look forward to a ticket from the Congress because that’s where Ambareesh belonged to and that’s where I will be comfortable. That’s my thought process, as of now. I don’t want to make any conjectures or jump the gun.

Q) The Congress is apprehending your next move

Congress leaders in Mandya are not apprehensive about my candidature. They want the party to be revived in the district - not for it to be wiped out. They want the seat for Congress, hence they are resisting the JD(S)’ demand. They don’t want to give up the fight easily. The leaders are helpless. Some of them might be for it, some of them might be against my candidature. But it’s all still open. We will know very shortly.

Q) But Congress minister D K Shivakumar has said JD(S) will contest from Mandya

I have no clue why Shivakumar said what he did. That is his opinion. But there is a larger picture out there - which is the people’s opinion. I think that should be the first consideration. I have met Siddaramaiah. He said that in a coalition situation, the Congress is in a helpless situation, kind of. 

Q) Ambareesh was close to the JD(S). Will you consider contesting on the JD(S) ticket?

I haven’t been in talks with any of the JD(S) leaders. They too haven’t approached me. According to their statements, it is apparent that they are keen to field their own candidate. 

Q) If the Congress denies you the ticket, what next?

I will wait and see. I will still go to the people and ask them what they want.

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