K’taka MP Sumalatha meets J P Nadda; speculations rife about pitch for Mandya seat

07:07 PM Feb 08, 2024 | PTI |

Independent Lok Sabha MP and actor Sumalatha Ambareesh on Thursday met BJP national president J P Nadda and party general secretary (organisation) B L Santhosh giving rise to speculations about her pitching for a BJP ticket.


The Mandya MP, who defeated JD(S) scion Nikhil Kumaraswamy in the 2019 Lok Sabha election, called on the two BJP leaders in New Delhi, and later posted photographs with them on the social media website ‘X’.

“Today I met BJP National President J P Nadda and BJP National General Secretary (organisation) B L Santhosh informally and discussed about Mandya constituency and Lok Sabha elections. I thank Nadda Ji and Santhosh Ji for giving their precious time and listening to me. Thanks again for your kind words,” Sumalatha said in her post.

Sumalatha has been cozying up to the BJP and is aspiring for a ticket from the party, sources close to her said, adding that she has kept her options open in case she is rebuffed. In a recent interview to a news channel, she had said that some senior Congress leaders were also in touch with her.

Mandya constituency has become a contentious issue for the BJP, its alliance partner Janata Dal (Secular) and Sumalatha for the upcoming Lok Sabha election, which is about two months away.


During the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Sumalatha disturbed the political equations of the JD(S) and Congress in Mandya after she announced that she would contest the election.

Mandya was traditionally considered as a JD(S) bastion as it is dominated by the Vokkaliga community, which the JD(S) first family of former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda belong to.

In the 2019 polls, the JD(S) tried to use the Mandya seat as a political launch pad for Gowda’s grandson and former chief minister H D Kumaraswamy’s son Nikhil. However, Sumalatha poured cold water over their plans by defeating him.

The latest speculations of Sumalatha seeking a BJP ticket to contest from Mandya is likely to be a vexatious issue in the 2024 polls for JD(S), which is now an ally of the BJP. JD(S), which had won all the seven seats in 2018 assembly elections from Mandya district, suffered another serious setback in 2023 when it lost six seats to Congress and its ally. Despite this, the party is not keen on giving up its stronghold.

With its tally in the state assembly reducing from 37 seats in 2018 to a mere 19 in 2023, the JD(S) joined the NDA in September last year after a meeting between H D Kumaraswamy, Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Nadda in New Delhi.

Both parties have said they would fight the coming Lok Sabha elections in Karnataka together.


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