- H.D. Deve Gowda proposes Sumalatha’s candidacy from Mysuru-Kodagu instead of Mandya
- D.K. Shivakumar given responsibility of convincing Sumalatha to make things easy for Nikhil
Bengaluru: For the family of former PM H.D. Deve Gowda that has introduced Nikhil Kumaraswamy into active politics from Mandya LS seat, Sumalatha has become a thorn in the flesh.
Indications of Mandya electorate rallying behind Sumalatha due to sympathy wave caused by the demise of her hugely popular husband, Ambarish has given sleepless nights to the family and Mandya JD(S) leaders and elected representatives who have been given the responsibility of ensuring Nikhil’s victory.
And to control the situation in Mandya, Deve Gowda is said to have suggested to the Congress high command to field Sumalatha from Mysuru-Kodagu seat. The JD(S) is said to have told Congress that caste combination of Vokkaliga-Kuruba-minority and Dalits will work in favour of Sumalatha while no other Congress candidate could garner such support and consolidate votes in their favour.
But Congress Legislature Party leader Siddharamaiah, who managed to retain Mysuru with the party, has suggested former MP C.H. Vijayashankar’s name as the candidate and Siddharamaiah is opposed to Sumalatha’s candidature from Mysuru.
Deve Gowda and in-charge of Congress party affairs in the State, K.C. Venugopal, held a meeting to put an end to this imbroglio. They have come out with a solution which they feel will work. They have decided to issue a ticket to Sumalatha to contest from Mysuru.
Sources said that Minister D.K. Shivakumar has been assigned by the Congress high command to hold talks with Sumalatha to convince her to move to Mysuru. The party is also said to be considering fielding her from Bengaluru South where it is finding no takers.
Siddharamaiah is, however, blocking Sumalatha’s candidature from Mysuru due to his rivalry with Ambarish in the past as Siddharamaiah, when he held power, had dropped Ambarish from his Cabinet. Siddharamaiah wants Vijayashankar to contest and the latter is confident of winning Mysuru-Kodagu as he had become the MP twice. In all probability, Mandya is likely to witness a straight fight between Nikhil and Sumalatha if the latter decides to contest as an Independent. BJP is unlikely to field its candidate and could throw its weight behind Sumalatha.
BJP hopes to consolidate votes in favour of Sumalatha to shatter Kumaraswamy’s plans to send his son Nikhil to LS. Also, it is an open secret that Mandya Congress leaders headed by former Minister N. Cheluvarayaswamy are backing Sumalatha. Cheluvarayaswamy was in JD(S) earlier and he is Kumaraswamy’s rival now.