Catch a falling star - parties woo Kannada ‘he-man’ Ambareesh

March 25th, 2009 - 2:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, March 25 (IANS) He is an ageing star, suffered a shock defeat in the assembly poll, rarely attends Lok Sabha and did not answer a single question in the house while union minister. But M.H. Ambareesh is being sought after by the Congress, to which he belongs, as well as the JD-S, from which he crossed over some years ago, and the BJP.
The buzz here is that the former union minister of state for information and broadcasting - popularly known as the ‘rebel star’ of Kannada films and the ‘he-man’ from his Lok Sabha constituency Mandya - occupied his ministerial chair in Delhi only once or twice.

Notwithstanding the dubious record, the 58-year-old from the Vokkaliga caste, who had resigned in 2007 from both the Lok Sabha and the ministry though it was not accepted by the speaker’s office because it was not in acceptable form, is a man much in demand.

The Congress wants to renominate him from Mandya, Karnataka’s sugar belt and stronghold of Vokkaliga caste, about 80 km from here. But he is said to be upset with a section of the state Congress leaders he holds responsible for his humiliating defeat in the May 2008 assembly polls from Srirangapatna constituency in his home district Mandya.

To make matters worse, he was humbled by a Janata Dal-Secular (JD-S) rival contesting the polls for the first time.

BJP’s first chief minister in Karnataka B.S. Yeddyurappa and his JD-S predecessor H.D. Kumarasawamy are also wooing the ’sulking’ star to be their candidate from a choice of consitituencies - Mandya, Bangalore Rural or Mysore, all which have a sizeable Vokkaliga vote.

BJP has thrown in another bait. It will try to get him elected to the assembly in a by-poll and make him a minister in the state.

The actor-politician is keeping up the suspense.

“What is the hurry,” he says. And at another time, “I started my political career in JD-S.” Then he falls back on his astrologers: “Till March 28 or so, time is not good for me. I’ll decide after that.”

While state Congress president R.V. Deshpande asserted Ambareesh would not leave the party, Kumaraswamy claimed after meeting Ambareesh that he would “return to us”. And BJP’s higher education minister Arvind Limbavali, who also met the star with offers, said Yeddyurappa had spoken to him.

The BJP has announced candidates for 24 of the 28 seats in the two-phased elections in Karnataka on April 23 and 30; the Congress and JD-S are still finalising their nominees.

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