Bengaluru:  A little more than four months since actor-turned-politician Ambareesh passed away, Sumalatha will make her political debut from Mandya in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.

The BJP was ready to support her, but Sumalatha was not ready to contest from a BJP ticket. Though she will contest as an independent, the BJP does fancy getting her support if she goes on to register a victory.

“She will win comfortably. But Siddaramaiah (BJP’S candidate) himself had said that he would not be contesting if Sumalatha wins. So Siddaramaiah will support us. Now the ultimate decision rests with the highest body at the Centre. But this will turn out to be an issue which will make JD(S) think twice,” said Sreenath Sheshadri, a BJP spokesperson.  

In the event of Sumalatha winning the elections, will she support the BJP?

“I will ask the people of Mandya what I should do. If they ask me to join a particular party, I will do so. If they ask me not to join any party, I will not. Ultimately, they hold the key. They are the decision-makers,” said Sumalatha.

But for the JD(S), which tried its best to succeed in dissuading Sumalatha from contesting the polls, this news must be good enough to give some sleepless nights.  However, the party is putting up a brave front.

Tanveer Ahmed, JD(S) spokesperson said that the party will remain unfazed as they have around seven to eight MLAs in the constituency.

On the other hand, JD(S) candidate Nikhil Kumaraswamy is in Shringeri. He paid a visit to the temple seeking blessings of mother Sarada. When he was asked about his reaction on Sumalatha contesting as an independent, he gave a rather sardonic reply, wishing her good luck.

But on a neutral note, what are the ramifications?

“Her candidacy in Mandya would eat into the votes of the JD(S). This will reduce the margin of winnability for the JD(S). And this is the strategy that the BJP has adopted. In the future, she will jeopardise what her husband has done. In spite of her presence, JD(S) will win, but she will be politically sidelined. That is the threat she has. If she withdraws, she will be in the good books of the Congress and the JD(S) and her political future will be safe," said Harish Ramaswamy, a political analyst.