Worried over the active participation of Mandya Congress leaders in an election meeting of actor Sumalatha Ambareesh in the Vokkaliga dominated Mandya on Wednesday, Congress’s “crisis manager” and Water Resources Minister D.K. Shivakumar on Thursday held parleys with district party leaders and told them to support the JD(S) candidate Nikhil Kumaraswamy.
Mr. Shivakumar met former legislators N. Cheluvarayaswamy, Ravindra Srikantaiah, M.S. Atmananda, and Amaravathy Chandrashekhar, loyalist of former Minister late M.H. Ambareesh, and persuaded them not to extend support to Ms. Sumalatha. Mr. Shivakumar told Mandya leaders to follow the “coalition dharma” and ensure victory of the JD(S) candidate.
Rattled by the presence of many Congress workers at the rally after Ms. Sumalatha filed her nomination papers, Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy reportedly telephoned Mr. Shivakumar and sought his help to iron out the issues and also to dissuade Congress leaders from supporting Ms Sumalatha.
The Chief Minister was in Mandya on Tuesday to watch the developments in the district, sources said.
Nikhil defers decision
In a related development, Mr. Nikhil Kumaraswamy, who was to file his nominations on Thursday, postponed it.
He is expected to do so on March 25.