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LS polls: Sumalatha digs in heels, turns Mandya prestige battle for JD(S)-Cong combine

Press Trust of India  |  Bengaluru 

The battle for constituency has become a prestige issue for the JD(S)-combine, which is making all-out efforts to ensure victory for H D Kumaraswamy's son Nikhil Gowda, as popular Kannada film star Ambareesh's widow refused to back-pedal on her insistence on contesting the seat.

The has made it clear that she would contest the polls from in spite of the leaving the seat for the (Secular). Ambareesh, a former MP, represented in the thrice.

The seat is in the Vokkaliga community heartland where H D holds sway. The JD(S) had won all the eight assembly segments under the Mandya constituency in the 2018 elections.

Much to the discomfort of the JD(S) and the Congress, has already started an aggressive election campaign in Mandya. The tried some back channel talks to persuade her not to contest from Mandya, but to no avail.

With JD(S) patriarch launching his grandson and H D Kumaraswamy's son Nikhil from the seat, the party's sitting MP L R Shivarame Gowda is reportedly upset over not being given the ticket, despite winning the Mandya bypoll a few months ago.

About a week ago, Shivarame Gowda met Congress leaders and Balakrishna, as also BJP leaders MLA Ashwathanarayan and C P Yogeshwar.

The ruling alliance is also keeping a tab on the BJP, which has hinted at backing

Her Friday meeting with former S M Krishna, who had been a Congress loyalist but joined the BJP lately, seeking his support has sent the JD(S) into tizzy.

Party told PTI, "Sumalatha is aspiring for power so much that she is knocking at the doors of the BJP She has met S M Krishna. Now people are getting to know the reality.

"The BJP is playing on all these things. The voters of Mandya will not entertain such dirty We will retain the seat."

The party's anxiety could be gauged from the fact that about 10 days ago and Deve Gowda's son H D Revanna stoked a controversy by saying Sumalatha made a foray into within months of losing her husband. His comment drew flak from all quarters.

Sumalatha, however, Saturday reiterated that she would reveal her cards on Monday at a press conference in Bengaluru.

The other partner of the ruling alliance, the Congress, has directed all its workers to back Nikhil.

"The party will not support Sumalatha. The candidates we had fielded in the eight Assembly segments (under Mandya seat), 16 block presidents, district Congress committee, district, taluk gram panchayat and booth committee members all have to abide by the Pradesh Congress Committee directive," party A N told

has warned the four party leaders rallying behind Sumalatha that if they do not mend their ways, action would be taken against them, he said.

Sumalatha's decision to contest the polls from the seat stems from the fact that was very popular in Mandya. He had represented Mandya in the Lok Sabha thrice from 1998 to 2009 and was the Union for Information and Broadcasting for a short period.

He had begun his electoral political career from


(S) in 1998 but later joined Congress in 1999.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, March 17 2019. 17:55 IST
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