A poster that appeared on the Bangalore Mysore highway blaming veteran Kannada film star and Congress housing minister M H Ambareesh for the defeat of Kannada film actress Ramya in the Mandya Lok Sabha constituency in the parliament polls threatens once again to throw the faction-ridden Mandya unit into disarray.
Asked about the appearance of the hoarding on the highway, Ambareesh refused to comment but stated that it was upto the state intelligence department to find out at whose instance had the hoarding been put up.
Actress Ramya aka Divya Spandana, 31, who had been elected to Parliament in a bypoll in Mandya, in the Vokkaliga heartland, as recently as August 2013 suffered a bitter loss by a margin of 5,518 votes in the April 17 elections.
In the run-up to the elections, a simmering feud between a faction of the Mandya Congress owing allegiance to local MLA Ambareesh and former external affairs minister S M Krishna had risen to the surface again and derailed Ramya’s campaign.
Supporters of Ambareesh had taken umbrage over Ramya allegedly running down their leader even as he recuperated in Malaysia from a serious lung infection. Though Ambareesh returned to Mandya to a rousing welcome just days ahead of the election, he never publicly sought votes for Ramya who had reportedly claimed to have the backing of Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi.
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Following his return from Malaysia, Ambareesh had stated that Ramya was more dependent on social media for her campaign than direct contact with people.
Ramya took to Twitter to respond and tweeted that “the future belongs to technology, if you’re not in it you will be left out. I don’t want my people to be left out!”
Though Ambareesh has issued statements that he would work for the victory of the Congress candidate, Ramya lost by a narrow margin to C S Puttaraju of the JD(S), whom she had defeated in August 2013 in a bypoll.
Ramya, who won more than five lakh votes in the recent parliament polls, has stated that she is in politics for the long run and would continue to serve Mandya despite the electoral loss.