Mandya: Karnataka minister DK Shivakumar was met with empty seats when he held a meeting of Congress leaders in Mandya district to convince them not to support Sumalatha in the Lok Sabha elections. 

Congress high command had told Shivakumar to convince district leaders to support the JD(S) candidate in Mandya instead of late actor-politician Ambareesh's wife Sumalatha.

The only people in attendance of this meeting held by DK Shivakumar were Mandya district Congress president MS Atmananad, Ambareesh's one-time supporter Amaravathi Chandrashekar and a couple of others. No leaders attended the meeting.

MLAs M Narendra Swamy, Ramesh Bandisidde Gowda among others gave the meeting a miss.

The Mandya Congress is divided over supporting the JD(S), which will get the seat as per the pre-poll alliance.

Congress leaders have openly announced their support to Sumalatha Ambareesh, who had already announced that she would contest from the district as an independent candidate.

Sumalatha had earlier sought a ticket from the Congress, but they were unable to give her the ticket, given the pre-poll alliance. 

However, DK Shivakumar told media that no one from the party had asked him to speak to the Mandya leaders.

"I'm no big leader. I just wanted to interact with the Mandya leaders, who stood by me during troubled times," said DK Shivakumar.

Condemning the PWD minister HD Revanna's comments on Sumalatha Ambareesh, DK Shivakumar said, "Women must be respected. Sumalatha has her own standing in society."