Actor-politician, Ambareesh has been playing hardball. Despite all the tantrums thrown by him, the Congress is still in no mood to let go of him. He has been given a ticket from Mandya, but he is yet to file his nomination papers.
In fact, on Monday, he even said that he is not interested in contesting. Winning in Mandya the sugar belt of the state is crucial to the Congress. In 2013, the party managed to win only two of these constituencies-Mandya and Malavalli. Ambareesh himself had won by a record margin of 42,937 votes against the JD(S) candidate M Srinivas.
The Congress hoped to better its tally in these seven constituencies. It has on its side this time, Cheluvaraya Swamy and Ramesh Babu who are seeking a re-election on a Congress ticket.
Roping in the Vokkaliga votes is crucial in these constituencies. The Congress would be hoping for a repeat of 1999 when the party won all the seven seats under the leadership of S M Krishna. The Congress is aware that after Krishna, Ambareesh is only formidable Vokkaliga leader in this region and hence keeping him away can only damage the prospects of the party.
The suspense regarding Ambareesh still continues. He has not even collected his B-form despite today being the last day to file nominations. Sources say that Ambareesh has a set of demands which include being made a minister and also district in-charge minister if the Congress comes to power. He also wants to lead the campaign in the Mandya belt. Will the Congress be able to win him over or not? Wait until the end of the day.
|Karnataka Assembly Election dates|
|Date of notification||April 17|
|Last date to file nominations||April 24|
|Last date to withdraw nominations||April 27|
|Date of polling||May 12|
|Date of counting||May 15|