Bengaluru: Kannada film stars Doddanna and Rockline Venkatesh (also a film producer) came in support of Mandya MP Sumalatha Ambarish over the issue of setting up a Memorial for actor-politician M.H. Ambarish, known as ‘Rebel Star’ among masses. Both hit out at former CM H.D. Kumaraswamy of telling ‘blatant lies’ on the Memorial and wrongfully claiming credit for the work not done by him.
Rejecting Kumaraswamy’s claim that it was he as the CM who ensured Memorial and respectful last rites to late Ambarish, Sumalatha said, “People who don’t have the dignity to take Ambarish’s name are talking about him. Don’t you have any achievements to speak about? Why are you still taking Ambarish’s name? It has been two years since he died.”
Speaking to reporters yesterday, Doddanna recalled an incident which took place in Kumaraswamy’s chambers when he was the CM. After the demise of Ambarish, Doddanna went to meet Kumaraswamy with a requisition to set up a Memorial for the late actor. “It shocked and pained me that Kumaraswamy threw the paper on my face and said Ambarish, whom he addressed in the singular, had not achieved anything to deserve a Memorial. I took the paper back and silently walked out of the room,” Doddanna said.
“Senior actor Shivaram was also near the CM’s chamber but when I asked him did he hear how Kumaraswamy had spoken, Shivaram replied that he did not. As for the Ambarish Memorial, it was the current CM B.S. Yediyurappa who facilitated it and not as claimed by someone else,” Doddanna added.
Joining the debate, Rockline Venkatesh said, “People who would bow down before Ambarish and talk in reverence to him are today talking ill of him. Kumaraswamy claims to have been Ambarish’s friend one moment and makes allegations against him another moment.”
My phone too was tapped: Sumalatha
Meanwhile, Sumalatha has accused Kumaraswamy and his party leaders in Mandya of benefiting from illegal mining in the district. “Politicians won’t do (illegal activities) directly with their name, they do with benamis, but it is an open secret…If you (JDS leaders) are not involved in it, why are you reacting? Looking at your strong reaction, it looks like you are benefiting from the illegal mining,” Sumalatha said.
Taking strong exception to linking her late husband’s name to illegal things, Sumalatha demanded to know why the MLA was silent all this while. “People of Mandya and Ambarish’s fans will respond to it in the days to come.” Kumaraswamy, who calls Ambarish a “friend” in front of everyone, is making his Srirangapatna MLA say such statements, she added.
Accusing JD(S) and its leaders of corruption in Mandya at all stages, the MP said they have started targeting her as she was trying to raise her voice against their ‘misdeeds’ and trying to uncover it. She alleged that her phone too was tapped during the Kumaraswamy regime, which is being investigated by the CBI.