Mandya: Nikhil Gowda, son of Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, has a movie slated for release shortly. He essays the role of the legendary Abhimanyu, the son of Arjuna. Abhimanyu perishes in the Mahabharata war in the strategic Chakravyuha, when he is surrounded from all sides with no room for escape.

Alas, Nikhil finds himself in a similar predicament in real-life politics as his entry into electoral battle is also sought to be scuppered by his dad's rivals who seem to be ganging up against him both overtly and covertly. 

The Gowdas, Kumaraswamy and his dad HD Deve Gowda, were planning to blood the youngster into politics by fielding him in Mandya, which is a Congress stronghold traditionally, but is the bastion of politically pivotal Vokkaliga community. The Gowdas belong to the community, and are the most powerful voices in it.

Now, Nikhil contesting from Mandya hangs in balance, as Sumalatha, the widow of actor and three-time MP from Mandya Ambareesh, is most likely to contest from the same place.

Though Sumalatha is not formally with the BJP, she somehow seems to have wangled the support of the party for her candidature --- a formal stamp of approval is expected to come in a day or two. She met the media today along with the BJP leader SM Krishna, and both said a clear picture on her candidature will emerge on March 18.

Ambareesh had been a Congress MP. And how his widow ended up in the other camp in less than four months since his demise is the typical topsy-turvy tale that truly belongs to Indian politics.

Ever since Amabreesh died in November 2018, the JD (S) has been looking at the seat with keen interest. With the Vokkaliga support base, the Gowdas believed it would be a safe bet for Nikhil.

But, as they say, the best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.

The legion of fans of Ambareesh, who saw him as the son of the Cauvery soil, wanted the seat to remain within the family. And they kept appealing to Sumalatha to contest from the same. Initially she was reluctant, but by February this year, she kind of relented and came out in the open with her decision.