After all the intense speculations over who will contest from the Mandya constituency, Karnataka Congress leader and co-ordination committee chairman of the coalition government, Siddaramiah, clarified a Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) candidate will contest from the sugar city for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
There is a fierce rivalry in Mandya between JD(S) candidate and Karnataka Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy's son, Nikhil, and Sumalatha, actress and wife of late actor-turned-politician MH Ambareesh. Sumalatha had expressed her desire to contest with Congress ticket in the district as her husband had won the election with a Congress ticket.
Congress had allowed her a ticket in Bengaluru which she denied as she only wants to compete in Mandya. She also said that she will not refrain from standing as an independent candidate if the Congress doesn't permit her of a ticket for the upcoming elections. Sumalatha wants to contest this seat on sympathy votes of her late husband.
Siddaramaiah said that it is up to Sumalatha to contest as an independent candidate for the upcoming LS elections and Congress will have no say in that as they cannot claim the Mandya seat because it is being represented by the JD(S). He also clarified that the party could not seek Mandya due to the coalition agreement between Congress and JD(S).
While the seat is confirmed for JD(S) in Mandya, several people including JD(S) leaders have shown their disapproval for electing Nikhil as the party candidate in the district ignoring senior leaders.
The JD(S) youth wing secretary, Kranti Simha, is also furious over party supremo HD Deve Gowda's decision to field his grandson as the candidate in Mandya. Simha said that he will contest elections from Mandya constituency to avoid the split of youth votes.