Sumalatha has been in the news for declaring that she would contest next month's Lok Sabha elections from Mandya - a seat her husband had represented both as MP and MLA. Complicating the issue, Ambareesh's party, the Congress, agreed to let its coalition partner in the state, the Janata Dal Secular, contest Mandya. And it is chief minister HD Kumaraswamy's son, Nikhil who has been chosen to contest for his party.
Sumalatha had possibly hoped that the Congress would contest the seat and give her the ticket as she had expressed her desire to contest. But she had always made it clear that she would contest, even if she did not get the ticker from the Congress.
Her meeting with SM Krishna, who is also from Mandya, has raised speculation about any possible move to the BJP.
After the meeting, Sumalatha said, "It was basically a courtesy visit. I have come to seek his blessings. I shared my thoughts and feelings about what is on the ground in Mandya."
When asked what her plans would be, the former actor said, "I will let you know my plans in a couple of days. I request you to wait. I will announce what I am going to do on the 18th."
She added, "Congress party workers are supporting me already. They are very unhappy with the party decision not to field their candidate. I want to make it clear - I have not been let down by this decision. The party has let its own cadre, its own workers down, let its own leaders down by taking this decision."
SM Krishna said, "She has been a family friend for a long time. She has explained to me the situation prevailing in Mandya. I will be reverting back to her after discussing this with the leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party. She has to make her stand clear also."
BJP state president BS Yeddyurappa had told NDTV, "We have not yet decided. Our national leaders will take a decision. I will go to Delhi and discuss. We don't know whether she will contest or not - her stand."
The BJP's R Ashok had also told NDTV that the party was studying whether Sumalatha had a better chance of defeating Nikhil if she stood as an independent or as a BJP candidate.
Nikhil is one of the two grandsons of HD Deve Gowda to be given a ticket to contest the Lok Sabha election in April - giving rise to criticism of continued nepotism within the JDS. Nikhil is also an actor - but is brand new to electoral politics. Given the popularity of the late Ambareesh, controversy over Nikhil as a candidate and her own campaign - Sumalatha could well be a challenge to Nikhil Gowda should she decide to contest either as an independent or from the BJP.
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