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No decision yet on inducting Sumalatha into BJP, says Yeddyurappa amid speculation over Mandya

twitter-logoPTI | March 7, 2019 | Updated 16:22 IST

Bengaluru, Mar 7 (PTI) Karnataka BJP chief B S Yeddyurappa Thursday said no discussions have happened on inducting Sumalatha, wife of late actor-turned-politician Ambareesh, into the party. With the Congress ruling out fielding Sumalatha from the Mandya Lok Sabha constituency, saying the seat would go to it's coalition partner JD(S), clamour is growing within the BJP to induct her and field her in the seat. Sumalatha said no one from the BJP has contacted her, and if there is an offer from BJP, she will take a call only after consulting her supporters. "No discussions have taken place in this regard...we will take a call," Yeddyurappa told reporters in Hubballi in response to a question on supporting Sumalatha in Mandya. Asked about inducting her into the BJP, he said "no discussions have taken place. Even before talking, it will not be right for me to comment on this". Asserting that the BJP is poised to perform well in the upcoming polls, Yeddyurappa said, "Things are convenient, we will win 22 seats (in Karnataka). It is certain that Modi will become prime minister by winning 300 seats. We are working for it." Sections within the BJP believe that Sumalatha joining the party and fielding her as candidate in Mandya will help the saffron party, which doesn't have much presence in the Vokkaliga bastion. JD(S) has already indicated that Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy's son Nikhil Kumaraswamy is likely to be the coalition candidate there. The Congress has conceded JD(S)' demand for the seat, despite growing pressure within the grand old party to field Sumalatha, herself a popular south Indian actress, as the regional party has a sitting MP in Mandya. There are also reports about Sumalatha contesting independently, backed by those within the Congress, who are opposed to the party conceding the seat to JD(S); and the BJP too may lend its support. Speaking to reporters in Mysuru, Sumalatha said, "I too have heard the statements (of BJP leaders), but no one has contacted me directly. If they come, I will get to know what is in their mind, what kind of support they can give me or what's in their mind on this issue." "If they come, I will speak and take my decision... no one has contacted me yet," she said. Asked if she would join the BJP, Sumalatha said she will seek opinion of the people before deciding. "My intention is to respond to public need and stand in their support. Which way to go is still not clear to me, as all these days I had expectation about a Congress ticket. Now what should be my way ahead, I will ask people -- there is such an offer -- and see what they have to say," she added. PTI KSU RA SS SOM SOM

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