MYSURU: With Rebel Star M H Ambareesh moving away from the centrestage of Mandya politics, former MP and actress Ramya has shifted her base to the district to revive the Congress party.
Her entry into Mandya (she renovated her bungalow during Deepavali) has boosted the morale of Congressmen, but it has raised a few eyebrows in the divided JD(S).
Ambareesh had expressed his desire to retire from active politics and volunteered to resign as MLA from Mandya constituency.
The Congress leadership had sent KPCC working president Dinesh Gundu Rao and AICC leaders to convince Ambareesh to rethink on his decision.
This has made the JD(S) to extend an open invite to Ambareesh to join the party, hoping that it would further strengthen the party in Mandya.
There were rumours that Ambareesh may contest from Srirangaptna as sitting MLA Ramesh Bandisiddegowda ditched the party. This would also make way for H D Kumaraswamy to contest from Mandya or K R Pet, considered to be safer constituencies.
However, Ramya has greater responsibility in Mandya to rebuild the party from grassroots and boost the morale of partymen, sources said.
The rebellion by the two JD(S) MLAs has turned out to be a blessing in disguise for Ramya who had lost Lok Sabha polls by 5,000 votes to the JD(S) candidate.
Barring Malvalli represented by P M Narendra Swamy, the Congress does not have much strength in other areas of the district due to infighting and weak leadership.
Sensing that the entry of H D Kumaraswamy into Mandya may make the Congress weak, many party leaders want Ramya, another Vokkaliga, to lead from the front. Ramya started meeting people and even visited banks to enquire about the problems faced by public after demonetization of `500 and `1,000 currency notes.
She told her supporters to assist illiterate women to fill up forms and help them get new currency notes.
Ramya also called on Chief Minister Siddaramaiah at his Mysuru residence and held close door talks for more than one hour on recent developments in the party.
Sources said she has been told to prepare for polls from Mandya, if the situation warrants. She has been told to take the state government welfare programmes to the door steps of common man and expose anti-farmers policies of the Union government.