Not social media, talk directly to voters: MH Ambareesh

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BANGALORE: The day he returned to Bangalore after 52 days of treatment and rest, “rebel star” and housing minister MH Ambareesh on Friday had some advice for actor Ramya whose re-election bid in Mandya has run into resistance. “Social media like Twitter, Facebook and Whatsapp won’t work in Mandya politics. The only way to impress voters is to visit every village and listen to their grievances,” he said, referring to Ramya’s constant updating of social media posts.

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Lauding Ramya as a spirited young woman, Ambareesh said she won the bypoll last year by God’s grace and without sweating much. “After she was elected, I asked her to visit every village and listen to their grievances. She did a good job as MP,” he said, replying to a volley of queries on Mandya politics.

He also said there is nothing wrong if Ramya is in the inner circles of AICC vice-president Rahul Gandhi. He said when Mandya bypolls were announced, there was a suggestion to field his wife Sumalatha or son Abhishek. “I thought otherwise as I wanted to groom a second-line leadership. Ramya has all the merits to become a leader and she will win the elections by a huge margin,” Ambareesh said.

On Ramya’s alleged remarks against him, he said the comments were made in good faith but blown out of of proportion by media. He said he has been in politics since the days of D Devaraj Urs.

Denying that Mandya Congress is a divided house, Ambareesh said there is only one Indian National Congress. “A massive rally is being organized on April 14 in Mandya, where CM Siddaramaiah and SM Krishna are participating with me,” he said.

He said people like Nandan Nilekani, Congress candidate in Bangalore South, contesting is an “eye opener”. “Efficiently distributing Aadhaar cards to crores of people is no easy task,” Ambareesh said.

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