Actress-turned-politician Sumalatha filed her nomination for the Lok Sabha elections on Wednesday as an independent candidate from Karnataka's Mandya district. Sumalatha is the wife of late actor-turned-politician MH Ambareesh, who was the Congress MP from Mandya. She submitted her nomination papers at the Deputy Commissioner's office.
The actress was accompanied by her son Abhishek, Congress general secretary of Mandya Manjunath and leaders of Dalit, backwards and minority communities. Mandya will go to polls in the second phase on April 18.
Sumalatha will be contesting against Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) candidate and actor-turned-politician Nikhil Kumaraswamy, who is the grandson of HD Deve Gowda and the son of Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy.
On Wednesday, supporters of both Congress and JD(S) came out on the streets to support the actress. The traffic on the Mysuru-Bengaluru national highway came to a halt in Mandya when Sumalatha was taking out a procession from the DC office to Silver Jubilee Park.
Sumalatha's stand on becoming an independent candidate came after Congress refused to give her a seat in Mandya, despite her husband being considered a loyal Congress leader.
Prominent Kannada actors including Yash, Darshan and Rockline Venkatesh have extended their support to the actress.
The Election Commission (EC) has banned screening of films of both Sumalatha and Nikhil on Doordarshan till the voting season is over. The order was issued by the DC of Mandya, N Manjushree. The ban is not applicable to private channels and theatres.