Srirangapatna August 9, 2013: The campaigning for the August 21 byelections to the Mandya Lok Sabha seat turned ugly on Friday with JD(S) leader and former legislator M Srinivas commenting on the paternity of the Congress candidate Ramya and terming her a ‘test tube baby.’
Addressing a JD(S) workers’ meeting here, Srinivas, a former MLA from Mandya city, said actor Ramya was a political novice and has no knowledge of the Mandya constituency.
The Congress has fielded such a candidate. Voters would be cheating themselves if they favoured such a candidate, he observed while seeking votes for the JD(S) nominee C S Puttaraju.
Reacting to the controversial statement, JD(S) State president H D Kumaraswamy said in Bangalore: “Personal accusations and discussions are not relevant. During election time, one should concentrate on building confidence of the people, not indulge in personal attacks. If the comments have hurt her, then we are sorry for it.”
Taking serious objections to Srinivas’ remarks, Congress leader and Housing Minister M H Ambareesh, who is in-charge of Mandya district, said such statements would not bring respect to any one. One should be cautious while speaking about women, he said in Mandya.
At the Srirangapatna meeting, another JD(S) leader and Nagamangala MLA N Cheluvarayaswamy said the Congress had made an innocent Ramya a scapegoat by forcing her to the contest the Lok Sabha bypolls.
JD(S) Mandya district president D Ramesh said the Congress was forced to give the ticket to Ramya as it failed to find a suitable candidate. “Ramya has reluctantly remained in the fray. Even if she wins, how can she protect people’s interests,” he questioned.