Sumalatha Ambareesh, the wife of late actor-politician’s MH Ambareesh, has dug her heels in and made her intentions clear.
“I will contest from Mandya. I will not go back on my word or rethink,” said the actor. Appealing to people not to believe rumours being spread, she said that she would not go back on her decision. Her only confusion was whether she would contest independently or on a Congress ticket, and this would become clear before March 18, she said.
A few people are using social media to mislead voters, Sumalatha said. She said she believes in the faith and emotional attachment of the people and the blessings of Ambareesh, and no one can stop
In the absence of a crack team, Sumalatha has only Ambareesh’s fan associations leading her campaign.
From the APMC Yard to small tea stalls along the highway, emotion and hype are all in favour of Sumalatha and the actual electoral battle may not be a cakewalk for Chief Minister Kumaraswamy’s son, actor Nikhil Kumar.
Despite Mandya being his party’s bastion, with all eight assembly segments in the kitty, Nikhil is deemed an “outsider” who has ventured into politics too soon.
Sumalatha, riding high on the mammoth support she’s getting from the emotionally charged voters, is under threat by the JD(S), that has an organised structure to reach out to every last voter.
She has to take on the might of JD(S) — eight MLAs of m three are ministers, four MLCs, besides senior Congress leaders like DK Shivakumar rallying behind Nikhil Kumar.
“Nikhil is very young. He will have many chances, but this is the perfect time for Sumalatha. She is educated, speaks in a mature manner even when people sling mud at her. We have nothing against Nikhil but we want someone from Ambareesh’s family as MP,” says a senior voter in the constituency.
“Kumaraswamy gave money to (Pulwama martyr) Guru’s family, but that was the government’s money, not his. Sumalatha gave her own land. People won’t forget that,” says Shivanna, who runs a tea stall in Maddur taluk.
Sumalatha’s popularity has risen fast, fuelled by the personal attacks against her. Now, her supporters are hoping to keep the momentum going, lest it begins diminishing. For now, emotional appeal is Sumalatha’s trump card.
The BJP has decided not to field a candidate if Sumalatha contests as an Independent. It may pose a threat for Sumalatha, but she stands to gain from Congress, JD(S) and BJP voters put together.
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