Karnataka Assembly elections: Sumalatha caught in a tricky political dilemma

The decision to go with the Congress could attract the wrath of the BJP, and affect development works and grants from the Centre.

Published: 03rd February 2023 07:13 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd February 2023 07:13 AM   |  A+A-

Independent candidate from Mandya Sumalatha Ambareesh.

Express News Service

MYSURU: With assembly elections fast approaching, Independent MP from Mandya Sumalatha Ambareesh is caught in a tricky dilemma, with her supporters urging her to join a political party and contest the Karnataka Assembly elections.

With the demand growing louder, the MP finds herself at a crossroads in her political path and could be compelled to choose between Congress and BJP. As an Independent MP, Sumalatha has managed to keep both Congress and BJP leaders in good humour, though, and this was evident with cadres from both sides throwing their weight behind her in the tough battle for Mandya, which had kept the state riveted.

Her position as Independent MP proved beneficial to bring in development grants from the Centre and working closely with the state government. On the other side, she is also getting feelers from Congress to join the party, as she hasn’t burnt her bridges with local leaders and close associates of her husband MH Ambareesh.

Since the JDS is her main political rival, with its MLAs time and again attacking her in public, any decision to go with the BJP may not be wise as the saffron outfit is yet to strike strong roots in the Vokkaliga heartland.

Though the Congress appears to be an attractive option, as she shares a good relationship with a few top state and central leaders, her relationship with the KPCC chief could prove an irritant for any future in the grand old party. The decision to go with Congress could attract the wrath of the BJP, and affect development works and grants from the Centre.

Meanwhile, Ambareesh’s fans from across Mandya held a closed-door meeting and decided to prevail on Sumalatha to enter state politics and contest from Maddur, Mandya or Melukote. They condemned JDS MLA C S Puttaraju’s comment on Sumalatha, and want to teach him a lesson in the assembly elections. A few others want Sumalatha to support the BJP in Srirangapatna, and BJP aspirant Sachidanand to defeat Ambareesh’s arch-rival and sitting JDS MLA Ravindra Srikantaiah. The fans are divided but will stand by any decision taken by Sumalatha, sources said.

Meanwhile, pressure is also mounting to get her son Abhishek to take the political plunge and contest from Maddur, Ambareesh’s native taluk.

One of her confidants, pleading anonymity, felt it was high time Sumalatha takes a call, as assembly elections are round the corner. However, she has often clarified that she will take a call only after consulting her supporters, and is aware that she has to weigh all factors before joining either political party.


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