The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Saturday announced that it will support independent candidate and multi lingual actress Sumalatha Ambareesh who is contesting from Mandya parliamentary seat in Karnataka. She will take on Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamyâ€™s son Nikhil in the Lok Sabha polls.
Sumalatha, the veteran actor and wife of late former Congress lawmaker MH Ambareesh, made headlines after she announced that she would contest from Mandya parliamentary constituency as an independent candidate. Her husband had represented Mandya both as Member of Parliament (MP) and Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA).
She made this announcement after being denied a ticket by the Congress, which is now facing trouble in the district over conceding the seat to it's ruling coalition partner JD(S).
JP Nadda, BJP: We will support Sumalatha as the independent candidate from Mandya (Karnataka). pic.twitter.com/rt33U8BGmiâ€” ANI (@ANI) March 23, 2019
After Ambareesh's demise in November 2018, people of the constituency started pressurising Sumalatha to contest polls from Manyda seat. The actress has about 200 films in Kannada, Telugu, Malayalam, Tamil and Hindi to her credit.
BJP's Central Election Committee Secretary Jagat Prakash Nadda announced the partyâ€™s decision to support Sumalatha, as he read out the list of candidates for various Lok Sabha seats across the country in Delhi.
With Congress ruling out fielding Sumalatha for Mandya, saying it would go to JD(S), clamour had grown within BJP to induct her and field her as the candidate, as a section believed it would help the saffron party, which doesn't have much presence in the Vokkaliga bastion.
She had filed her nomination as an independent on Wednesday and enjoys the support of many within the Kannada film industry, with film stars Darshan and Yash among others by her side during campaigning.
Sumalatha had also sought the support of senior BJP leader and former Karnataka Chief Minister S M Krishna, a prominent Vokkaliga leader from Mandya.
Despite losing Mandya Lok Sabha seat in the bypolls in November 2018, BJP had made significant inroads, with party candidate Siddaramaiah, a political greenhorn and former civil servant securing 2,44,404 votes, its best performance there.
BJP on Saturday also announced that Muniswamy S, a Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike corporator from Kadugudi, would be its candidate for the Kolar Lok Sabha seat.
With the announcement for two seats on Saturday, BJP has so far announced candidates for 23 (including Mandya) out of the total of 28 Lok Sabha seats in the state. The first list of 21 candidates was announced on Thursday.
With PTI Inputs