Sumalatha to join BJP
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Sumalatha to join BJP

April 3, 2024

Mandya: Ending speculations, Mandya independent MP Sumalatha Ambarish has officially announced her decision to join the BJP. However, she has opted not to contest the forthcoming elections, clearing the path for Janata Dal (Secular) State President H.D. Kumaraswamy, who has been selected as the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate to contest from Mandya.

In the wake of the alliance between the BJP and JD(S), the BJP is contesting from 25 Lok Sabha Constituencies in the State, while the JD(S) is fielding candidates in three Constituencies, including Mandya, Hassan and Kolar (SC Reserve) Constituencies. At a meeting of her supporters, predominantly fans of her late actor husband and former Minister M.H. Ambarish, convened at the Kalikamba Community Hall on the premises of the Kalikamba temple in the town this morning, Sumalatha announced her decision to join the BJP to resounding applause from the gathering.

Reflecting on her journey, Sumalatha remarked, “As an independent candidate in the 52-year history of Lok Sabha, I achieved a historic victory in the 2019 elections and was among the few MPs who dared to challenge the Government during the hustings.”

Before revealing her decision, Sumalatha, visibly emotional, clarified that her pursuit was never centred around power politics but rather guided by her self-respect — two qualities she inherited from her  late husband.

“I was offered the opportunity to contest from Bangalore North, Mysuru-Kodagu and Chikkaballapur Constituencies. However, I remained steadfast in my decision to contest from Mandya on the BJP ticket, despite my efforts until the last minute. Ultimately, I had to make the tough decision not to contest, given the changed circumstances,” explained Sumalatha to the gathering.

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She also shared with them her experience of being treated with respect by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who respectfully requested her not to leave the party, a departure from the usual treatment accorded to most independent MPs.

“I had previously declared my support for the BJP in the 2023 Assembly elections and now I will be formally joining the BJP soon,” stated Sumalatha, emphasizing that her decision to align with the saffron party was the result of deliberations at various levels.

Drawing a parallel between Mandya and India, Sumalatha highlighted the deep-rooted connection her family shares with Mandya, particularly her late husband, Ambarish, who is affectionately called ‘Mandyada Gandu’ (Man of Mandya).

“Our bond with Mandya will remain the same forever and there is no question of severing the ties with the district,” said Sumalatha reinvigorating the emotion.

Without explicitly mentioning Deputy Chief Minister D.K. Shivakumar, who had stated that the Congress party did not require Sumalatha’s support, she questioned the gathering, “How can I embrace a party that doesn’t seem to need me?”

Before arriving at the Kalikamba Temple for darshan of the presiding deity, Sumalatha, who drove directly from Bengaluru, made a brief stop at her residence in Mandya.

Accompanying her were her actor-son Abhishek Ambarish, Sandalwood star Darshan Thoogudeepa, film producer Rockline Venkatesh, Belur Somashekar, President of Akhila Karnataka Ambarish Abhimanigala Sangha, leader Hanakere Shashi and others.

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