Will she or won’t she contest from Mandya? Sumalatha Ambareesh’s political career has been a matter of speculation for several weeks now. And on Friday, the actor gave a joint press conference along with BJP leader and former Chief Minister SM Krishna, where she praised the party and SM Krishna declared that BJP will take a call on whether the party will contest from Mandya after Sumalatha takes her decision.
Speaking to reporters in Bengaluru, SM Krishna said that he will announce the BJP’s decision on March 18. When asked if his decision is the same as the BJP’s, the former Congressman said, “SM Krishna is not different, BJP is not different. Whatever they say, I will tell my stand on 18th. First let her clarify her stand and then I will tell.”
Sumalatha is an actor and wife of late Congress leader Ambareesh, who was an MP from Mandya thrice. After his demise in November 2018, fan clubs started pressurising Sumalatha to contest from Manyda. By February, when she made it clear that she would like to contest elections, neither the Congress nor the JD(S) encouraged this decision.
The JD(S) that wanted HD Kumaraswamy's son Nikhil Gowda to make his political debut, was not willing to give the seat to Sumalatha. The JD(S) went to the extent of insulting Sumalatha, with Kumaraswamy's brother and minister HD Revanna questioning how a widow could have political ambitions so soon after her husband's death.
The Congress meanwhile was unhappy at the ‘rebellion’ of the wife of a late Congress leader.
Sources in the BJP say that the state BJP unit is recommending leaving the Mandya constituency blank and back Sumalatha as an independent candidate in the elections. The national leadership of the party will discuss the recommendations made by the state unit on Saturday and confirm the candidate list for south Karnataka constituencies after that.
According to sources, DK Shivakumar had told Sumalatha to not contest from Mandya and instead consider the Mysuru-Kodagu seat, which the Congress has been allocated as per the seat-sharing arrangement.
Sumalatha has said that she will make her decision official at a press conference on March 18.