Mandya: Even as the coalition partners are getting ready to launch their joint campaign in Karnataka on Sunday, to their embarassment Congress workers in Mandya continue to campaign for Ms Sumalatha Ambareesh, wife of the later actor/politician, M H Ambareesh, who is contesting as an independent from the constituency this Lok Sabha poll.
The suspension of a few Congress leaders has had no impact on them and more and more workers are defiantly campaigning for Ms Sumalatha holding Congress flags much to the anger of local JD(S) leaders, who had expected them to back their candidate, Nikhil Kumaraswamy, son of Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy as part of the poll alliance between the two parties.
The latest to come out in support of Ms Sumalatha was a former Congress MLA Ramu of Keragodu, who accompanied her in her campaign in the district on Saturday. Other die-hard supporters of the late Ambareesh, who had represented Mandya for years, are also reportedly working for her victory against the Chief Minister's son as they believe the Congress should have fielded her from the constituency instead of giving it up for its coalition partner.
So adamant are they in their stand that a meeting in Mandya to chalk out a programme for a joint campaign by the Congress and JD(S) saw noisy scenes with many Congress workers openly supporting Ms Sumalatha and the district Congress president reportedly appearing helpless to stop them.
One district leader believes the state party leadership failed to understand the ground reality when it chose to enter a poll agreement with the JD(S) without consulting the local workers.
"This has angered them and they have all decided to work for Ms Sumalatha. You can take action against one or two, but can you suspend thousands of workers? If you do, the party will be wiped out,” he pointed out.
Notice served on me, illegal: Sumalatha Ambareesh
Justifying her statement on misuse of official machinery by Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, whose son Nikhil has entered the electoral contest as Janata Dal (S) candidate in Mandya parliament constituency, independent candidate Mrs Sumalatha Ambareesh, described the notice served on her by the deputy commissioner as 'illegal'. Replying to a notice served on her by deputy commissioner and returning officer N Manjushree under Sec 189 of IPC, Mrs Sumalatha said "I was forced to share my feelings with the media after having observed the behavior of you (DRO) and your staff from the beginning but not insulted any officer or staff members.