Mandya, Apr 7 : Film stars contesting elections are quite common in the neighbouring states like Tamil nadu and Andhra Pradesh, but there was close connection between Kannada film industry and Mandya lok sabha constituency witnessed colourful personalities.
Either the film actors contesting the election for Lok Sabha or large number film industry persons have been campaigning for the candidates for all parties in this sugar belt constituency.
This 2019 election is not different from earlier , with top two candidates which will be going for poll on April 18 are also come from the sandalwood industry, Nikhil Kumraswamy, son of Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy, from the JD(S)- Congress coalition, is a new generation actor in Kannada and Telugu films , while Sumalatha Ambareesh, a multi-lingual actor of an earlier generation, is the Independent candidate backed by the BJP and others.
It is a well known fact that Kumaraswamy is also a film distributor and producer before entering into the politics and becoming two time chief minister of the state . Besides, Sumalatha's late husband Ambareesh was the 'rebel star' of the Kannada cinema. In fact, Ambareesh was the most popular face from the cinema to represent the people of Mandya in the state Assembly as well as the Parliament. He served as the minister in both the governments - state and Union. He was also well known to mediate and resolve the various film industry issues during his time.
Earlier Ramya, and popular actor from sandalwood industry, won the by-election in 2013. She lost in the 2014 general elections. Her by poll was facilitated by the resignation of then MP N Cheluvarayaswamy, who returned to the state politics.
Even Cheluvarayaswamy of the JD(S), now a Congress leader, produced the film 'Happy Birthday' with his son Sachin in the lead role.
Among the MPs so far, since 1951, it may be mentioned here that from 1984 to 1989, 1998 to 1999, 1999-2004, 2004 to 2008, 2008 to 2013, 2013 to 2014 and 2018 to 2019 have been held by persons connected to the film industry.
The term 1984 to 1989 was held by K V Shankaregowda. Entering into politics with freedom struggle and he strived for the development of cooperatives and education institutions. However, his love for literature and his creativity brought him closer to theatre and film personalities.
He was the writer, director and producer of 'Koodi Balona'. His son K S Sachidananda, who was also a MLC, later produced two films 'Hosaneeru' and 'Sankranthi'. In fact, Ambareesh, who was born and brought-up in Mysuru, came in contact with Mandya through Shankare Gowda.
Ambareesh was the longest serving among the MPs related to films. He was JD MP from 1998 to 1999, and was Congress MP for two terms from 1999 to 2008.
One time queen of Sandalwood Ramya served for a short-term in Lok Sabha representing Mandya from 2013 to 2014. Another multilingual actor Rakshitha, a contemporary of Ramya in the film industry, was in circulation during the 2013 bypoll and also during the 2014 general election, to be pitted against Ramya. Rakshitha is married to film director Prem from Nagamangala taluk, under Mandya LS constituency.
Interestingly, even the present MP L R Shivaramegowda is related to the glamour world. His daughter Bhavya Gowda was Miss Earth (Midlands UK) in 2010. She won the title Miss Colombo Queen in 2013. Bhavya also pocketed the 'Living Doll of the World' title given by the World Bridal Association. She has acted in a few documentaries in the UK and also in a few music albums.
In fact, C S Puttaraju, JD(S) MP from 2014 to 2018, and veteran of the district, former chief minister S M Krishna, who was also MP from the constituency, are also related closely with film personalities
The election campaigning has been on the high voltage in the constituency with Kannada film industry leading actors like Darshan, Yash and others are beeline with their support to Sumalatha and moving around the constituency drawing large crowds to cast their votes in favour of her.