Karnataka: Mandya MP Sumalatha Ambareesh Set To Join BJP This Week, Says Won’t Contest LS Polls – News18


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Karnataka MP Sumalatha Ambareesh with veteran BJP leader BS Yediyurappa. (Photo: X)

Karnataka MP Sumalatha Ambareesh with veteran BJP leader BS Yediyurappa. (Photo: X)

The Independent MP from Karnataka’s Mandya addressed her supporters on Wednesday, days after being denied a BJP ticket

Actress-turned-politician Sumalatha Ambareesh, who is an Independent sitting MP from Karnataka’s Mandya, on Wednesday said she would not contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections but join the BJP on April 6 and continue to support the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). She also mentioned Congress’ lack of respect for her.

The Independent MP addressed her supporters on Wednesday, days after being denied a BJP ticket.

In her emotional speech, Ambareesh thanked her supporters for helping her secure a historical victory from Mandya in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections and said she had decided not to contest in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections but support the BJP, a party that supported her in 2019 Lok Sabha polls. She also supported the BJP in the 2023 assembly election.

“If the country is doing good then the state will do good. And if the state is doing good, then our district will eventually be in a good place. I am not selfish. Many leaders when they are denied tickets, will quit the party, but Sumalatha Ambareesh will leave the MP seat and support the BJP today,” said Mandya MP Sumalatha Ambareesh.

Sumalatha was denied a ticket from Mandya because the BJP and JD(S) alliance decided to field former Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy for the 2024 Lok Sabha Polls as an NDA candidate.

Sumalatha had won the 2019 Lok Sabha election defeating former Prime Minister and JD(S) patriarch HD Deve Gowda’s grandson and Kumaraswamy’s son, Nikhil Kumaraswamy. BJP then supported her to secure the victory.

Sumalatha, in an emotional speech, also took a dig at Karnataka Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar and asked her supporters to not ask her to contest from Congress Party, a party that doesn’t respect her.

“He (DK Shivakumar) said they don’t need me in their party. I, too, am in no need of anyone. My husband Ambareesh was never hungry for politics and me, too,” said Sumalatha.

She further asked the Mandya voters whether they wanted her to join the party that did not respect their daughter-in-law. Her supporters replied ‘no’ in unanimously.

Sumalatha’s husband, Ambareesh, joined the Indian National Congress (INC) in 1994 and left the party in 1996 after the party denied him a ticket for state assembly elections, but he rejoined in 1999 and contested five elections since. Ambareesh served as minister of state for Information and Broadcasting in the 14th Lok Sabha but resigned over his dissatisfaction with the Cauvery Dispute Tribunal award.

After the demise of Ambareesh in 2018, Sumalatha Ambareesh entered full-fledged politics.

She also told her supporters that the BJP did offer her Bengaluru (Rural), Mysuru, and Chikkaballapur seats, but she denied it all as she was firm about her decision that if provided a ticket then she would want to contest from Mandya only.

However, the BJP high command had asked her not to take any step that would affect the party in the upcoming polls, but she has a bright future and the party will provide her with more opportunities.

With Sumalatha withdrawing herself from the race, Mandya is ready to witness a direct contest between the Congress and the JD(S), a Vokkaliga heartland and bastion for both Congress and JD(S).

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