She kicks off her electoral quest during mourning period

With just a few days left for the August 21 byelections to the Mandya Lok Sabha seat, the Congress launched its campaign here on Monday. Actor-turned-politician Ramya (Divya Spandana), with a large number of supporters, performed puja at the Sri Kalikamba Temple and kicked off her electoral quest.

In mourning

However, Ms. Ramya, who lost her guardian R.T. Narayan the day she filed her nomination papers, started her electionering with tears rolling down her cheeks.

The usually perky actor was emotional and broke down while entering the vehicle arranged for the campaigning near the temple. Minister for Housing M.H. Ambareesh, president of Karnataka Pradesh Mahila Congress Manjula Naidu and other leaders helped console her as she fought to cope with the sudden demise.

Though Ms. Ramya was seen sobbing continuously, she continued to campaign.

For the four hours that she campaigned, she was mostly silent and appealed to the people to elect her just by reaching out her hands.

Ambareesh’s speech

Mr. Ambareesh, Ms. Naidu, Public Works Department Minister H.C. Mahadevappa, Mysore Zilla Panchayat former president Mari Gowda and other leaders were also in a pensive mood.

Mr. Ambareesh, the star campaigner and Ramya’s political mentor, told the people that the Congress always worked for the welfare of the poor, downtrodden and the underprivileged.

He said Karnataka is emerging as a model State in terms of good governance after Chief Minister Siddaramaiah took over. The party had recently launched Anna Bhagya and Ksheera Bhagya schemes, he said. It had waived the loans of the economically weaker sections under several schemes. He said the Congress was the only party that could bring development to the district.

Abstained

Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee leader Rizwan Arshad, Mandya City Municipal Council (MCC) councillor Mahesh and others participated in the campaigning.

However, the former Minister M.S. Atmananda and other local leaders abstained from the activities.