It’s a battle between movie stars in Mandya- Veteran actor and wife of rebel star Ambareesh – Sumalatha, is taking on young actor and Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy’s son Nikhil Gowda at Mandya Lok Sabha constituency.
The Election Commission on Wednesday banned screening of movies starring Sumalatha and Nikhil Gowda on Doordarshan till April 18, the day Mandya goes to polls. The order was issued by the Deputy Commissioner and Returning Officer of the Mandya Parliamentary segment N Manjushree.
The ban, however, is not applicable to these films being screened in movie theatres and private TV channels.
Sumalatha, veteran South Indian actor, has starred in numerous films in Kannada, Telugu and Malayalam. Nikhil, a newbie to Sandalwood has two films to his credit - Jaguar and Seetharama Kalyana.
The battle in Mandya has intensified, especially since top movie starts with considerable influence in Old Mysuru region like Yash, Darshan and Puneet Rajkumar have offered their support to Sumalatha.
Sumalatha, who is contesting as an independent, is up against the JD(S), a party that won all eight state Assembly segments in the region. She is also being openly supported by Congress party workers, despite the fact that the Congress and JD(S) have formed a pre-poll alliance. The BJP workers too are supporting Sumalatha, albeit indirectly.
JD(S) insiders say that this has angered Nikhil Gowda’s parents – CM Kumaraswamy and Anitha Kumaraswamy, the MLA of Ramanagara. Nikhil, who is a rookie in politics, is banking on the goodwill his grandfather HD Deve Gowda carries in the region. However, party insiders say that the fight will be a tough one as Sumalatha is riding on a sympathy wave.
This was doubly evident when hundreds of fans of her late husband Ambareesh carried out a bike rally on Wednesday when she filed her nomination. Sumalatha’s supporters were carrying placards of Ambareesh and shouting slogans in her support ahead of the public meeting she was slated to address in Mandya.