BENGALURU: Mandya Lok Sabha seat aspirant and former Congress leader Ambareesh's wife Sumalatha Ambareesh on Monday made her candidature official. The veteran actor will contest as an independent candidate against chief minister HD Kumaraswamy's son and Congress-JD(S) alliance's joint candidate Nikhil Kumaraswamy also known as Nikhil Kumar.
Sumalatha along with son Abhishek were flanked by Kannada film industry superstars Darshan Toogudeep and Yash apart from producer Rockline Venkatesh and senior actor Doddanna adding star power to the announcement.
"A lot of people may not like my decision to contest but I am only reciprocating the love and affection the people of Mandya have shown us even after Ambareesh's demise. I have decided to contest as an independent candidate," Sumalatha Ambareesh announced reiterating that her decision may earn her many enemies.
"I appeal to everyone to keep away from personal attacks. There are young people watching us and we are to be their role models. Let us prove that there can be a dignified campaign that doesn't need mudslinging," she appealed to her supporters. Incidentally, Sumalatha has been personally attacked by senior members of the JDS including PWD minister HD Revanna and Transport minister DC Thammanna- both of whom are related to Nikhil Kumaraswamy.
Sumalatha will file her nomination papers on March 20. While the BJP has sent her feelers on backing her campaign, Sumalatha said that no official talks have taken place. "The only party I approached to be a candidate from was the Congress but they conveyed to me that they are not in a place to field a candidate because of the coalition. For thousands of Congress workers in Mandya it is a matter of existential crisis. I have their backing. I was given many offers including an MLC post but it is Mandya or nothing for me," Sumalatha said.
The actor has received massive backing from the film industry with superstars like Darshan and Yash expected to be part of her campaign.