Kannada film actress Ramya aka Divya Spandana, 31, who failed in her attempt to be elected to the Lok Sabha from the Mandya constituency on a Congress ticket by a narrow margin of 5,518 votes, could be politically rehabilitated by the party with a nomination next month to the state legislative council.
Ramya, who won the Mandya parliament seat in August 2013 in a Lok Sabha bypoll by defeating Janata Dal Secular candidate C S Puttaraju by a margin of 55,000 votes, saw her fortunes reversed in the Lok Sabha polls held in Karnataka on April 17 where Puttaraju polled 5,24,370 votes against Ramya’s 5,18,852 votes.
A severe factional feud between supporters of Kannada film star, housing minister and Mandya MLA, M H Ambareesh, and those led by former external affairs minister S M Krishna is widely believed to have cost Ramya the seat despite her efforts to reach out to every home in the constituency.
Aggrieved by comments made against Ambareesh by Ramya and others during campaigning, his supporters are alleged to have sabotaged Ramya’s prospects in the polls.
In the aftermath of her loss, Ramya’s supporters have accused Ambareesh of causing her defeat. A poster in Mandya has even blamed Ambareesh for the loss.
Given her roots in the Vokkaliga community which dominates the Mandya region, the Congress is keen on grooming Ramya for the long term and could nominate her to the legislative council where five nominated MLCs are set to retire next month, party sources said.
After the results, Ramya travelled to New Delhi this week to meet Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, to whom she has frequently turned for backing. Analysis of the poll results for the Mandya Lok Sabha seat in fact reveals that Ramya lost the race despite having leads in five of the eight Assembly segments.