Minister comments on timing of Sumalatha’s political foray, draws flak

Minister comments on timing of Sumalatha’s political foray, draws flak
Highlights

Karnataka PWD Minister H D Revanna on Friday triggered a controversy, saying multilingual film actress Sumalatha, wife of late Congress MP Ambareesh, entered the political fray within months of losing her husband

Bengaluru: Karnataka PWD Minister H D Revanna on Friday triggered a controversy, saying multi-lingual film actress Sumalatha, wife of late Congress MP Ambareesh, entered the political fray within months of losing her husband.

Even as the remarks drew flak from BJP, the Minister, son of JDS supremo H D Deve Gowda, later said he did not say she should not contest elections and refused to apologise.

Sumalatha, who has decided to contest the coming Lok Sabha elections from Mandya -- a stronghold of JDS -- said she was hurt and pointed out it was an irony that such a statement had been made on International Women’s Day.

Speaking to a private Kannada news channel in Delhi, Revanna said Sumalatha had come to politics ...it is not even a few months since her husband passed away."

Sumalatha was not grateful to what Chief Minister H D Kumarasawmy did for actor-politician Ambareesh, who passed away in November 2018, he said referring to the arrangements made by the state government for his funeral.

"She is not even grateful to what Kumaraswamy has done for her, said Revanna, who is the brother of Kumaraswamy. He was reacting to Sumalatha’s decision to contest from Mandya, a district dominated by Vokkaligas, the dominant agrarian caste of Karnataka.

The JD(S) has decided to field actor Nikhil Gowda, the third generation of Deve Gowda clan and son of Kumaraswamy.

It always considered Mandya as its citadel, having emerged as a party of Vokkaligas. Deve Gowda too belongs to the same community.

Kumaraswamy had no plans to send Nikhil to parliament. His intention was to field an ordinary party worker. When she gave us the challenge, some of us insisted on fielding Nikhil. It was done because she had challenged us, Revanna claimed.

BJP state president B S Yeddyurappa condemned Revanna's remarks.

Such statements are uncalled-for. It does not suit a Minister, he told reporters. He said BJP had not taken any decision on the contest in Mandya. Sumalatha too had not approached the party for ticket, he added.

Sumalatha said “former prime minister Deve Gowda was a father figure to us. Our respect for him will continue. I am deeply hurt with his statement...," she told a TV channel.

Revanna later clarified that he did not have any other intention behind his statement. “I never said she should not stand for election.

Everybody has freedom to contest election,” he told reporters in Delhi. He however, said he would not apologise for his comment.

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