Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy and JD(S) supremo HD Deve Gowda invited Sumalatha Ambareesh on Thursday to contest as a JD(S) candidate from the Mysuru-Kodagu Lok Sabha constituency.
The offer was made in a meeting held with Sumalatha at the Taj Vivanta Hotel in Bengaluru and came after Nikhil Kumaraswamy, son of CM Kumaraswamy stated that he will be contesting as the JD(S) candidate from the Mandya seat
“Deve Gowda and Kumaraswamy met with Sumalatha on Thursday and offered her the ticket to contest from Mysuru-Kodagu as a JD(S) candidate. Siddaramaiah is blocking her candidacy due to his rivalry with Ambareesh. If the Congress agrees, she will contest from Mysuru-Kodagu,” a JD(S) source told TNM.
Former Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has had disagreements with Sumalatha’s late husband, actor and Congress leader Ambareesh, in the past. During Siddaramaiah’s tenure as Chief Minister, he had demoted Ambareesh from his cabinet. Siddaramaiah is not keen on JD(S) fielding Sumalatha as its candidate from the Mysuru-Kodagu seat.
Sumalatha now has more options to weigh before making her decision. Sumalatha had begun a tour of Mandya district, hoping to contest from the constituency as a Congress candidate or as an independent. The Congress has since ruled out fielding her as the party's candidate from Mandya.
The Congress and JD(S) have entered into a seat-sharing arrangement in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections and the Mysuru-Kodagu seat is one of the 10 seats the JD(S) asked during its negotiations with the Congress. The party has also asked for eight other seats in southern Karnataka and one more in Bidar, sources said.
Currently, the Mysuru-Kodagu MP is the BJP's Pratap Simha. Sources in the BJP told TNM that the party is considering its options, and could change the candidate they are fielding from the constituency.