BENGALURU: The electoral fight for Mandya Lok Sabha constituency is expected to be a star-studded affair with Sandalwood biggies pledging their support to Sumalatha Ambareesh.
The veteran actor who announced her candidature as an independent candidate on Monday was flanked by actors Darshan Toogudeep and Yash during the press conference. This gave an inkling of what to expect in the high-pitched battle for Mandya.
With Nikhil Kumaraswamy-an actor himself on one side and Sumalatha Ambareesh- a veteran actor whose campaign is being led by Ambareesh fans' associations, on another, the battle for Mandya is sure to be a clash of stars.
Nikhil is backed by Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy who was also once a film producer.
"Not just Darshan and Yash, but other stars like Sudeep and Puneeth Rajkumar have also extended support to Sumalatha's candidature," claimed prominent producer of Kannada films Rockline Venkatesh, who also was instrumental in organising Monday's press conference.
Incidentally, Puneeth Rajkumar is the brother-in-law of Geetha Shivarajkumar who is a JDS leader as well as sister of Madhu Bangarappa who will contest from Shivamogga seat as the Congress-JDS' joint candidate.
Yash, in 2018, had campaigned for BJP, Congress and JDS candidates in Mandya and Mysuru regions in the assembly polls. This time around the superstar is expected to campaign for Sumalatha Ambareesh.
Ambareesh- who was fondly called 'Mandyada Gandu' (The man of Mandya)-has a strong fan base in the seat. Ambareesh fans' associations are the primary vote banks for Sumalatha. Ambareesh's popularity as a film star struck a chord with voters of the constituency, and his wife now hopes to retain the support.
The couple's son Abhishek is also a newbie in the film industry and has a fan following that takes off from his father's fan base.
Sumalatha is up against Nikhil who is barely two movies old in the industry but claims to enjoy a massive fan base.
"I have my 'Sarathi' on one side and 'Rocky Bhai' on another," Sumalatha said referring to Darshan and Yash respectively asserting that they were firmly putting their weight behind her.
Given the fan base for both actors in the region, they are sure to emerge crowd pullers.