Bengaluru: Movies starring Sumalatha Ambareesh and Nikhil Kumaraswamy, who are battling it out in Mandya, for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections are banned. The Election Commission has banned the screening of movies starring these two candidates till April 18 - the day that Mandya goes to polls.

Deputy Commissioner and Returning Officer of the Mandya Parliamentary segment N Manjushree issued by the order.

However, the ban is not applicable when films are being screened in movie theatres and private TV channels.
Sumalatha Ambareesh is well known for her movies in the South. She has starred in numerous films in Kannada, Telugu and Malayalam.

Nikhil, however is a newbie to Sandalwood and has two films to his credit - Jaguar and Seetharama Kalyana.

Movie stars such as Darshan and Yash have extended their support to Sumalatha who is contesting as an independent candidate against the JD(S). 

Sumalatha has also garnered support from the Congress party workers, despite the fact that the Congress and JD(S) have formed a pre-poll alliance. JD(S) sources have said that the move has left Nikhil’s family miffed. 

Nikhil, who is a rookie, both in politics and in the film industry, is banking on his grandfather HD Devegowda’s  goodwill. People of Mandya have expressed their love for HD Devegowda for a long time.

Sumalatha’s supporters were carrying placards of Ambareesh and shouting slogans in her support ahead of the public meeting she was slated to address in Mandya. 

Hundreds of fans of Ambareesh had gathered for a bike rally on the day Sumalatha filed her nomination. 

Sumalatha has been at the receiving end of sexist remarks made by Devegowda’s son HD Revanna. He questioned Sumalatha's foray into politics just months after her husband's demise.

In the most recent incident, JD(S) MLA Narayana Gowda has warned film stars not to meddle in politics. He has threatened them with dire consequences if they don't stay neutral during elections.