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Karnataka: Independent MP from Mandya Sumalatha Ambareesh to join BJP ahead of Lok Sabha elections 2024

Lok Sabha elections 2024: Sumalatha said the BJP leaders offered her to contest from elsewhere but she rejected it saying that she will stick to Mandya for being the 'daughter-in-law' of the district. She said some of her supporters also wanted her to join Congress.

Sheenu Sharma Edited By: Sheenu Sharma @20sheenu Mandya Updated on: April 03, 2024 20:15 IST
Lok Sabha elections 2024, Sumalatha Ambareesh, Karnataka, Independent MP Mandya, Sumalatha Ambareesh
Image Source : SUMALATHA AMBAREESH (X) Lok Sabha elections 2024: Independent MP from Mandya Sumalatha Ambareesh to join BJP.

Lok Sabha elections 2024: Mandya's independent MP Sumalatha Ambareesh today (April 3) announced that she would join the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), thereby extending her support to the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) candidate and JD (S) leader HD Kumaraswamy in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections 2024.

"I will not leave Mandya and you will see me working for you in the coming days. I have decided to join the BJP," the 60-year-old actor-turned-politician said addressing her supporters, adding, she will not contest the elections.

Sumalatha had won the 2019 general elections with the support of BJP defeating Kumaraswamy's son Nikhil.

JD (S)- NDA alliance

JD (S) headed by former Prime Minister HD Deve Gowda joined the NDA in September 2023. As part of the seat-sharing arrangement, the BJP would now contest in 25 constituencies and the JDS the remaining three, including Mandya, in the State.

She said though she was an independent MP, the BJP government at the Centre gave grants to Mandya Lok Sabha constituency to the tune of Rs 4,000 crore, and praised BJP leaders for always taking her into confidence before taking any decision pertaining to the district.

"When the Prime Minister told me that the BJP needs me and requested me not to leave the party, I have to honour him," she said.

Sumalatha said the BJP leaders offered her to contest from elsewhere but she rejected it saying that she will stick to Mandya for being the 'daughter-in-law' of the district. She said some of her supporters also wanted her to join Congress.

"But a senior Congress leader said the party never felt the need of Sumalatha in the party- neither earlier nor now or in future. How can a person with self-esteem ever wish to go to Congress after listening to these words," the MP said.

Daughter-in-law of Mandya

In her emotionally-charged speech, Sumalatha explained her commitment towards Mandya as her husband late Ambareesh belonged to this district, and explained about her works in the last five years.

According to her, Lok Sabha elections are not a child's play and being a woman contesting the election as an independent MP was even more challenging.

"However, you showered your blessings in 2019 and made me the independent MP."

Later talking to media she said she declined to contest the election as she did not want to be adamant.

“I want the BJP to grow in Mandya,” she said.

On campaigning for Kumaraswamy, Sumalatha said: “Once I join the BJP, then only I can reveal my stand from the party’s point of view."

The MP also said she has not put forth any demand for joining the BJP.

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