Bengaluru: Flanked by Sandalwood stars Yash and Darshan on the podium, Sumalatha, the widow of actor-turned-politician Ambareesh, on Monday announced what is probably the decision of her life.

At a packed hall in a Bengaluru hotel, Sumalatha announced that she would go ahead and contest the Lok Sabha polls from Mandya as an independent candidate. This decision to throw her hat into the political ring ends weeks and weeks of speculation and suspense. She will file her nomination on March 20.

What’s interesting is there were talks that chief minister HD Kumaraswamy was trying his best to impress upon Sumalatha to withdraw her candidacy. In fact, even minister DK Shivakumar, considered to be a strongman of the Congress, allegedly tried his best to dissuade Sumalatha. But all these talks have not fructified as the decision stands testimony.

There were also talks that the BJP would offer a ticket to Sumalatha to counter the JD(S), but she decided to go independently because her husband was a Congressman.

“My husband had been in the Congress for two decades. He even contested on a Congress ticket. That being the case, I did seek a ticket from the Congress, but the party had its own reasons not to field me. I respect its decision,” said Sumalatha, who has acted south Indian films.

Making it clear that she had no propaganda or personal fight against anyone, she said, “I want to continue the legacy of my husband. He was a man who had no enemies. He was dear to all and his work transcended parties.”

Sumalatha also had a fervent plea to make to her political rivals.

“I request all my political competitors not to attack anyone personally. We all have issues to address. Let’s do that. We have youngsters who are looking up to us. It is our bounden duty to set a precedent before them. We can’t be misguiding them,” she said.

Her comments were evidently aimed at JD(S) minister HD Revanna who jibed her for the reason she jumped into the political fray just months after her husband had passed away.