Bengaluru: The sudden demise of former Minister, M H Ambarish has created a vacuum in the district Congress. Although he played a limited role in the previous assembly elections, his control over the district was unparalleled.
For many years, the Mandya district Congress unit has been synonymous with dissidence and factionalism that took a toll of the party in the 2014 Lok Sabha and 2018 assembly elections. The patch- up bid by the state leaders failed and this led to the defeat of its candidates in all seven assembly constituencies in the district in the May poll.
Ambarish had kept away from the election jamboree, neither showing any inclination to contest the poll nor campaign for the party candidates reportedly as a result of his preoccupation with launching his son in Kannada films.
The defeated candidates squarely blamed him for their performance and most Congress workers preferred to stay away from the campaigning for the recent Mandya Lok Sabha bypoll after the party gave the seat away to the JD(S) in a pre-poll tie- up.
Their disenchantment was visible even when the mortal remains of the actor-politician were brought to Mandya city as it was Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, who made all the arrangements for the people to pay their last respects to him, while most local Congress leaders made no move to be involved.
A senior Congress leader believes the biggest homage the party can pay the late actor/politician is to end the prevailing factionalism in its district unit. Leaders like N Cheluvarayaswamy must take on the mantle to re-build the Congress in Mandya with the Lok Sabha polls looming, in his view.
"Our party lost the chance of putting up a united show when the mortal remains of Ambarish were brought to the city," he regrets.
On the other hand, JD(S) leaders believe the personal involvement of "Kumaranna" in the funeral will help the party in the coming Lok Sabha poll. "In fact, Ambarish was supposed to join our party the last assembly poll, but it did not happen for some reason," one leader contends, adding that he would have been any asset for any party....