The next Legislative Assembly will have a bit of celluloid glamour as some actors who aligned themselves with various political parties have succeeded in entering the Vidhana Soudha.
Veteran actor and the former Union Minister for Information M.H. Ambareesh won, defeating two-time M. Srinivas, Janata Dal (Secular) MLA. The victory was twice as sweet for Mr. Ambareesh who had a tough time getting the ticket as some Congress leaders, including the former External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna, were against his contesting from Mandya.
The film industry had extended its support, and stars such as Darshan, Ramya and Yash had campaigned for him. As a result, Mr. Ambareesh won by a margin of over 42,000 votes.
Veteran actor and theatre personality Umashree won from Teradal constituency in Bagalkot by securing 70,189 votes. She defeated Siddu Savadi, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) chief whip in the Assembly. At one point of time, Congress leaders wanted to field the former Police Commissioner Shankar M. Bidari from this constituency but Ms. Umashree succeeded in getting the party ticket.
Pooja Gandhi, popularly known as ‘Male Hudugi’ because of her role in the blockbuster Mungaru Male , lost in Raichur Assembly constituency. She had contested from BSR Congress, headed by the former Minister B. Sriramulu. She got only 1,815 votes and lost her deposit too.
The former Forest Minister C.P. Yogeshwar, who has had a shot at acting and producing movies, was re-elected to the Assembly from Channapatna. He contested from Samajwadi Party after the Congress refused to field him. He defeated Anitha Kumaraswamy, wife of the former Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy, by a margin of 7,000 votes.
Actor-turned-producer Madhu Bangarappa of JD(S) won in Sorab constituency in Shimoga district, defeating his brother, former actor Kumar Bangarappa of Congress. Both are sons of the former Chief Minister the late S. Bangarappa, who joined the JD(S) a few days before his death. Mr. Madhu Bangarappa defeated his closest rival H. Halappa of the KJP by securing 58,541 votes.
Actor-producer B.C. Patil, who contested from Hirekerur constituency lost to KJP candidate U.B. Banakar by a margin of 2,000 votes and producer and realtor Munirathna of the Congress, who contested from Rajarajeshwarinagar, won by securing 71,064 votes.
Stars such as Chiranjeevi, Sudeep, Ramya, Bhavana, Rakshita, Shruti, Darshan Toogudeepa, Yash, Sumalatha and others campaigned for various candidates this time. Even Bollywood stars, including Sunil Shetty, campaigned for a candidate in Bellary.