Bengaluru: Mandya MP Sumalatha met BJP leaders Yeddyurappa and SM Krishna in their Bengaluru residences after registering a massive win from Mandya in the Lok Sabha elections.

Independent candidate Sumalatha defeated JD(S) candidate Nikhil Kumaraswamy (grandson of former PM Deve Gowda and son of Karnataka chief minister HD Kumaraswamy) by a margin of 1,25,876 votes in Mandya. She was supported by BJP, which did not field its candidate in Mandya.

There were speculations that Sumalatha will join BJP after she met Yeddyurappa at his Dollars Colony house, followed by meeting with BJP leader SM Krishna. Former chief minister Krishna too had joined BJP, after being in Congress for over 50 years, on January 29, 2017 accusing Congress of 'depending on managers and not leaders'.

However, speaking to media, Sumalatha clarified that she did not think about joining BJP. She said, "I have not decided on joining BJP. But I will extend issue-based support to BJP. It is not right for any independent candidate to join a party. But as BJP had extended unconditional support to me, I will also give issue-based support to the party. Even to join BJP, I think the people's opinion will matter. So, I will ask the opinion of the people who have worked for me and take a decision. Currently, I am concentrating only on Mandya's development."

During election, Sumalatha was expecting Congress to give her ticket to contest from Mandya as her husband Ambareesh, who was a Congress leader, had passed away just five months prior to elections. But as Congress had seat-sharing agreement with JD(S) and had handed over the seat to JD(S), Sumalatha was offered a seat in Bengaluru Central or North. But she did not accept this offer.

Ambareesh’s fans even requested JD(S) leaders to give Sumalatha a ticket from the party, but leaders were hell-bent on fielding Nikhil from Mandya.

Thus the election was also a matter of prestige for Sumalatha and Nikhil.