MYSURU: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s support of Sumalatha, who he spoke in support of recently, might just backfire for the Mandya candidate. Seeing a chance to take back the Dalit and minorities vote, currently in Sumalatha’s favour, the Janata Dal (Secular) is now branding her as a BJP candidate instead of an independent.
The JD (S) is fighting a pitched battle to get Nikhil Kumaraswamy, the grandson of Former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda, elected to Parliament and has its eyes on every possible vote. On the other hand, Sumalatha is battling three other independent candidates who share her name.
Although Sumalatha thanked Modi for paying homage to her husband Ambreesh and recognising their contribution to Karnataka’s culture, she consciously avoided taking the PM’s name for the sake of the minorities.
The veteran actress, who who chose to distance herself from all parties and instead fight the elections as an independent took along with her, a muslim, a fisherman, a dalit and a Kuruba when she went to file her nomination. She has also made it clear that she would never join the BJP.
However, this claim has been constantly challenged by JD(S) leaders who say the opposite. Their constant accusation now seems to have created a panic among Ambareesh fans as they realise the danger of the JD(S) winning over the votes of muslims, dalits and Other Backward Castes, who are mostly anti-Modi and BJP.
Sumalatha called this another one of the JD(S)’ desperate tricks, as the chief minister, three cabinet ministers and 12 legislators — including eight MLAs — have taken this election as a matter of prestige.
Knowing that the Mandya elections are crucial for Kumaraswamy and his party, the JD(S) seems to be taking some last-minute measures to consolidate the minority votes.
Somashekar, president of Ambareesh Fans Association, predicted that this propaganda by JD(S) would not affect Sumalatha’s prospects. “We have just completed campaigning in Muslim-dominated localities in Srirangapatna, and are heading to K R Pet. The people of Mandya will give a befitting reply to these cheap politics via ballot,” he said.
Sumalatha visits Tipu’s tomb
Sumalatha Ambareesh paid a visit to Tipu Sultan’s tomb in Srirangapatna on Thursday. She offered special prayers and also addressed the locals in Urdu, making it clear that if voted to power, she would never support BJP. “I contested independently, as Congress denied me a ticket. If I was keen on contesting for BJP, I would have sought a ticket,” she said.