I don't have to support BJP if I win: Sumalatha Ambareesh

Bengaluru: Despite the recent criticism - some in poor taste invoking her caste - heaped on her by some JD(S) leaders, Ms Sumalatha Ambareesh, widow of the late actor/politician, M H Ambareesh, on Thursday refused to make the electioneering in Mandya  murkier than it already is, saying that  she did not believe in replying to every jibe against her.

"Ambarish had no enemies and he never made personal remarks even during elections,'' she recalled at a Meet the Press programme organised by the Press Club of Bangalore and the Bangalore Reporters' Guild here.

When her attention was drawn to minister, C S Puttaraju's remark that she was incapable of making it in politics as she did not know the difference between an allocation and grants, Ms Sumalatha said she was not doing politics. "I don't need to reply to Mr Puttaraju as I am  answerable only to the people of Mandya," she added.

On the JD(S)'s claim that she was a BJP candidate, she said this was the party's campaign theme. "When I filed my nomination papers, I had no idea who would support me. The first to back me was the Karnataka Rajya Raitha Sangha. I could be their party candidate, but that would not suit them. The other group that stood by me were the Congress rebels. And now the BJP has given  me unconditional support as an independent. If I win, I will go back to the Mandya people and ask if I need to support anyone. If they say no, I can work as an independent MP too,'' she said.

"If power was my aim, I would have accepted the Congress offer of Bengaluru South or Bengaluru North. They also promised a direct meeting with Mr Rahul Gandhi so that I could be nominated to Rajya Sabha. The JD(S) too offered to make me MLC and induct me into the cabinet. I could have chosen the easy way, but I had to choose this difficult path in response to the sentiments of the Mandya people,'' she added.

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