Independent MP Sumalatha Ambareesh announces decision to join BJP

Mandya's independent MP Sumalatha Ambareesh on Wednesday announced that she would join the BJP, thereby extending her support to the NDA candidate and JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections here.
Independent MP Sumalatha  and PM Modi
Independent MP Sumalatha and PM Modi

Mandya (Karnataka) | Mandya's independent MP Sumalatha Ambareesh on Wednesday announced that she would join the BJP, thereby extending her support to the NDA candidate and JD(S) leader H D Kumaraswamy in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections here.

"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 here.

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

JD(S) headed by former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda joined the NDA in September last year.

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.

Sumalatha praised BJP leaders for always taking her into confidence before taking any decision pertaining to Mandya.

"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.

In her emotionally-charged speech, Sumalatha explained her commitment towards Mandya as her husband late Ambareesh belonged to this district.

The MP also explained to the crowd 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," Sumalatha said

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