Sumalatha to contest Mandya LS polls as an independent

Sumalatha to contest Mandya LS polls as an independent

Sumalatha Ambareesh speaks during the press conference in Bengaluru on Monday. (ANI/Twitter)

Actor Sumalatha Ambareesh on Monday announced that she will contest the elections from the Mandya Lok Sabha constituency as an Independent candidate. She will be taking on Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy’s son Nikhil Kumaraswamy, who is the JD(S) candidate.

Flanked by actors Darshan, Yash and her son Abhishek, Sumalatha told the media in Bengaluru that the love showered on her by the people of Mandya had “compelled” her to enter politics. She will be filing her nomination in Mandya on March 20.

After the demise of her husband, actor-politician, M H Ambareesh, Sumalatha evinced interest to contest from Mandya in a bid “ to carry forward Ambareesh’s legacy”. She said though
she was pressured to contest from constituencies like Bangalore North and Bangalore South (by the Congress and BJP), she refused to accept the offer.

“I even rejected the MLC post that was offered to me. I am not entering politics for personal gain. I am doing this for the people of Mandya. I have heeded the people’s request. It is Mandya or nothing for me. I am going to fight for Mandya. I am not scared of losing,” she added.

Sumalatha said she had sought the Congress ticket as her husband was with the party.

During the press conference, she reiterated that the local Congress leaders were facing an identity and existential crisis in Mandya and that there was need to revive the party in the district.

Rattled by the growing popularity of Sumalatha and the politics behind her candidature, the JD(S) had got bullish by launching a tirade against her and Ambareesh.

While Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy took a dig at Ambareesh, his brother H D Revanna made disparaging and sexist remarks against Sumalatha. JD(S) Minister D C Thammanna was among those who attacked her.

Sumalatha, who had refused to counter the JD(S) leaders, on Monday however made a veiled attack at them. She said the JD(S) boycotting the ‘Shradhanjali’ programme for Ambareesh in Mandya had influenced her decision to contest. She said that by boycotting the event, the regional party leaders had exposed the “politics” behind their absence. “They wanted to shut me and my family out,” she said.

When it became apparent that the Congress was in no position to field her, Sumalatha last week intensified her parleys with the BJP, which wanted to cash in on the situation. She called on former union minister S M Krishna and sought his support.

Sumalatha, however. denied that she had spoken to any other BJP leaders. A section of BJP leaders were keen on fielding Sumalatha. The party high command however decided not to give her the ticket. BJP is likely to extend external support to her. She said she was expecting support from the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha.

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