Multilingual actor Ramya filed her nomination papers as the Congress candidate on Saturday, the last day for filing of nominations for the byelections to the Mandya Lok Sabha seat to be held on August 21.
The day turned tragic for the actor-turned-politician, with her guardian R.T. Narayan, who had accompanied her during the filing of nominations, dying of cardiac arrest briefly after. In the evening, Ms. Ramya left for Mysore with the body in a private ambulance.
Earlier in the day, around 2 p.m., accompanied by actor-turned Minister M.H. Ambareesh, Malavalli MLA P.M. Narendra Swamy, and former MLA Suresh Gowda, Ms. Ramya filed her papers before the returning officer B.N. Krishnaiah. She filed her nomination papers in her original name, Divya Spandana.
Scores of Congress leaders — close associates of the former Chief Minister S.M. Krishna and M.S. Atmananda — were present in an apparent show of party’s unity.
Before arriving to file nominations, Ms. Ramya met Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, KPCC president G. Parameshwara and other senior Congress leaders at a hotel off the Bangalore–Mysore Highway.
Later, Ms Ramya garlanded the statue of Sir M. Visvesvaraya at Cauvery Park and met the former MP G. Made Gowda, who was earlier pegged to contest on Congress seat.
Meanwhile, D.K. Suresh, brother of Congress leader D.K. Shivakumar, filed his nomination papers from the Bangalore Rural Lok Sabha constituency. From Janata Dal (Secular), Anita Kumaraswamy, former MLA and wife of former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, filed her papers.
With this, Bangalore Rural has virtually turned into a battle ground between two families that wield much political clout in the region.
Interestingly, Ms. Anita Kumaraswamy was accompanied by her father-in-law and JD (S) supremo H.D. Deve Gowda. Mr. Suresh was accompanied by top Congress leaders, including Mr. Siddaramaiah, Dr. Parameshwara, and Mr. Shivakumar.
Addressing the people, Mr. Siddaramaiah lashed out at the family of Mr. Gowda for not contributing to the development of the State, especially Ramanagaram, which gave him political re-birth. Both contestants were accompanied by hordes of supporters, in a clear show of strength.
Three BJP candidates filed their papers for the Bangalore Rural seat on Saturday. Bangalore city MLA M. Krishnappa and yuva morcha vice-president Tulsi Muniraju and party worker from Kanakapura, Nagaraj, are those who filed nominations.
Advocate and BJP’s former Mandya district president K.S. Doreswamy filed his papers for the Mandya seat as a BJP candidate.
Nandini Jayaram filed her nomination papers as the Sarvodaya Karnataka Party candidate
However, the BJP still appears to be waiting to take a call on whether or not to have a tie-up with the JD(S).