Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, addressing a massive rally aimed at showcasing Congress unity in Mandya, told people that differences have been resolved after Mandya strongman, actor and housing minister M H Ambareesh returned from hospital.
Mandya unit has been witnessing a tussle between supporters of actress Ramya Divya Spandana, the Congress candidate, and a faction close to Ambareesh over alleged one-upmanship.
In spite of the claim that issues have been resolved, people attending the rally could detect jarring notes in Ambareesh’s speech at Silver Jubilee Park.
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Ramya faction is said to be allied with former external affairs minister S M Krishna. Differences with Ambareesh faction was expected to be resolved with his return last week from treatment in Singapore.
S M Krishna, Siddaramaiah, KPCC president G Parameshwara, Ambareesh and other Congress leaders attended the rally.
Siddaramaiah claimed there were no differences but only ego problems which were resolved by Ambareesh. Siddaramaiah said the contest is between Congress and Janata Dal Secular and BJP is not in contention.
The CM said Ramya was last year selected to contest Mandya Lok Sabha byelection. “Congress leader Digvijaya Singh asked me who we should field. Initially we thought of legislator L R Shivaramegowda but later we decided to field a new candidate. Ramya was in New Delhi and told us to contact her father R T Narayan. I called Ambareesh and S M Krishna and both agreed to field her,” Siddaramaiah recalled.
He said Ramya would win again because she worked sincerely for people.
Addressing the rally, Ambareesh said Ramya was still young and will learn politics gradually. “I don’t want power I only expect love from people of Mandya. I could have fielded my wife Sumalatha or son Abhishek from Mandya if I was after power. I resigned as union minister over the Cauvery issue. I don’t want power,’’ he said.
“Ramya is still a young girl learning politics. She is arrogant and sometimes fights with me. She will learn gradually,” he said.
“Ramya committed mistakes which can be excused by you. Even Sri Rama committed a mistake doubting his wife Sita. We are only human beings and tend to make mistakes. Ramya committed mistakes. I know people of Mandya will excuse her. She has worked for people and will continue to work,” he said.
Ambareesh did not directly ask people to vote for Ramya but sought a vote for Congress.