Sumalatha queers pitch in Mandya, set to take on Kumaraswamy’s son

Anil Urs Bengaluru | Updated on March 15, 2019 Published on March 15, 2019

Sumalatha   -  K_MURALI_KUMAR

The Mandya Lok Sabha constituency is turning out to be a high profile, high- pitched battle between Kannada film personality Sumalatha, wife of late actor Ambarish, and Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy’s son Nikhil.

Under the seat-sharing pact between the Janata Dal (Secular) (JDS) and the Congress, the Mandya constituency has gone to the JDS and the Congress party had declined to support Sumalatha’s candidacy for Mandya.

Currently, Sumalatha is riding on a sympathy wave, backed by the Kannada film industry and Ambarish fans in the district.

Kumaraswamy on his part has not left any stone unturned for his son’s victory, and is banking on the active support from the Congress.

Former chief minister Siddaramaiah too has openly said: “Mandya is JDS’ seat and the Congress will not back Sumalatha.”

BJP’s overtures

The BJP is yet to identify a candidate for Mandya, but is keeping a watch over the Congress-JDS tussle.

Amidst all these developments, the saffron party has left it to Sumalatha to join its fold or contest as an independent.

But many BJP leaders are of the opinion that it is easier to transfer the BJP’s votes to Sumalatha, than make her the party candidate and lose out on consolidation of anti-JDS and anti-Congress votes.

On Friday, Sumalatha surprised all by calling on senior BJP leader and former chief minister S M Krishna. Krishna, a Vokkaliga leader hailing from the Mandya district, after serving the Congress party for over a five decades, quit and joined the BJP in 2017.

Krishna told reporters that he will announce the BJP’s decision on March 18.

“SM Krishna and the BJP are not different. Whatever they say, I will reveal my stand on March 18. First let her clarify her stand and then I will tell.”

Sumalatha said: “I will be announcing what I am going to do on March 18. I have come to meet Krishna as a matter of courtesy.”

She accused the Congress of letting its district workers’ and leaders’ morale down by not fielding a candidate.

Published on March 15, 2019
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