Bengaluru: Calling herself the "daughter-in-law of Mandya soil," Ms Sumalatha Ambarish, wife of the late actor/politician, M H Ambareesh, on Wednesday made an emotional appeal to the people of the constituency to support her to be their voice in the Lok Sabha and fulfill the dreams of her late husband.
"All his his life, Ambareesh never begged for anything from anyone and was called 'Danashoora Karna' and 'Kudogai daani.' But, today I am begging you to vote for me and I will always be at your service," she said to thunderous applause at a public meeting here after filing her nomination papers as an independent candidate from Mandya which goes to the polls on April 18.
Disturbingly for the coalition partners, scores of Congress workers participated in Ms Sumalatha's road show in Mandya on Wednesday, waving their party flag in clear defiance of its diktat to them to support the JD(S). Worse, KPCC secretary, Sachidananda even shared the dais with her.
Bouyed by this show of support, Ms Sumalatha declared, "I am the daughter-in-law of Mallavalli Huchchegowda, wife of Ambareesh and mother of Abhishek Gowda. Besides, I am a daughter-in-law of Mandya and a daughter of this soil. I want people of Mandya to tell this to anyone who questions my relationship with the 'sugar bowl of south Karnataka."
Admitting that she was a political novice, she said she decided to plunge into politics after consulting her friends and well-wishers of Ambarish, and touring several villages in the constituency. "I was heartbroken after my husband passed away and everything looked bleak. At that time, it was friends, well-wishers and die-hard fans of Ambareesh, who came to my house and promised to stand by me. I would have sat at home looking after my son, but it was the people who coaxed me to enter politics to complete his unfulfilled dreams," she added.
Although she met Congress leaders to give her a ticket for Mandya because of Ambarish's association with the party for over three decades, they offered her a ticket from Bengaluru north or south or a nomination to the state Legislative Council.
"The Congress leaders ruled out giving the Mandya ticket saying it had already been given to Janata Dal (Secular) to uphold the coalition dharma. But you are seeing how the JD(S) is following the 'mythri dharma' and how the Congress workers are intimidated in the district," she said.
Ms Sumalatha recalled how upset Ambareesh was when he was "unceremoniously" removed from the cabinet. "Ambarish always said that the people of Mandya were innocent but not fools. The voters of this district who care more for their self-respect must support me," she implored....