After the death of rebel star Ambareesh, a void has been created in the Mandya Congress. With hundreds of Ambareesh fans demanding that his wife Sumalatha contest from the Mandya Lok Sabha constituency, the question is - will she? On Friday, hundreds of Ambareesh fans gathered outside Sumalatha's residence in Bengaluru and requested her to contest the Lok Sabha elections as an independent candidate.
Speaking to the media after interacting with the fans, Sumalatha said, "Ambareesh's fans were very supportive when he contested elections. Even after his death, they are offering to support me. I had never given a thought about entering politics or contesting elections in the past. Seeing the amount of respect they have for Ambareesh and me, I do not want to disappoint them. However, this is not an easy decision to make and I feel like I still need to think about it," Sumalath said.
The actor also said that she had not yet held talks with leaders of any political party. And if she decides to contest, Sumalatha is unsure whether she wants to be a Congress candidate and get embroiled in the tension on ground in Mandya between JDS and Congress.
"Ambareesh was with the Congress and I am yet to talk to the leaders from the party. I don't know if I will contest the elections but if I do, I will contest from Mandya. Ambareesh had worked for the people of Mandya and our family will continue to do the same. I am humbled by the support the people have shown me and I do not want to disappoint them," Sumalath added.
According to Congress sources, the party lost a lot of votes during the 2014 Lok Sabha election as Ambareesh did not campaign actively for the Congress candidate. "When Ramya lost by a small margin, it was only because Ambareesh's voter base did not vote for the Congress. With the pre-poll alliance in place, Sumalatha will be a neutral choice. If the JD(S) does not agree to field Sumalatha as the alliance's candidate, then it would spell trouble for them. If she contests then it would be beneficial to Congress as Ambareesh was a Congress loyalist," the source added.
However, JD(S) insiders say that the party is not happy with the Congress' move to bring Sumalatha into electoral politics as it would then become difficult for Kumaraswamy's son Nikhil Gowda to enter the fray.
"Kumaraswamy wants Nikhil to contest simply because his nephew Prajwal Revanna is contesting this time. Although Deve Gowda is not inclined towards offering Nikhil a ticket, the chances of him getting one would become lesser if Sumalatha decides to enter electoral politics. It would be worse if she contested as an independent as it would split the vote bank," the source added.