Karnataka’s Mandya constituency witnessed an interesting battle between actor-turned-politician Nikhil Gowda of JD(S) – the son of HD Kumaraswamy’s and grandson of HD Deve Gowda – taking on late Kannada superstar Ambareesh's wife Sumalatha Ambareesh who contested as an independent, allegedly with support of both BJP and Congress, the latter party being an ally of the JD(S).
Sumalatha has won the Mandya seat with a margin of 1,25,876 votes. His nearest rival was JD(S) candidate and Karnataka CM's son Nikhil Gowda.
The Election Commission had banned the screening of movies starring Sumalatha and Nikhil Gowda on Doordarshan till April 18, the day Mandya went to polls. The order was issued by the Deputy Commissioner and Returning Officer of the Mandya Parliamentary segment N Manjushree.
The ban, however, was not applicable to these films being screened in movie theatres and private TV channels.
Moreover, the battle in Mandya intensified after top movie starts with considerable influence in old Mysuru region offered their support to Sumalatha.
On the other hand, Nikhil banked on the goodwill his grandfather HD Deve Gowda carries in the region. JD(S) had also made a comment saying that Sumalatha was riding on a sympathy wave.
In 2014, the seat was won CS Puttaraju of JD(S) by a mere 5000 votes when he beat current Congress social media head and actor Divya Spandana (Ramya). Puttaruju resigned in 2018 following which by-elections were held and LR Shivarame Gowda of JD(S) beat DR Siddaramaiah of BJP. In 2009, N Cheluvaraya Swamy of JD(S) won with a margin of 23,000 votes by beating MH Ambareesh of Indian National Congress.