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Rebel Star Ambarish
From “Antha” to Congress – JD (S) - Congress

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Rebel star Ambarish, for whom the Kannada movie Antha was the turning point in his acting career, his induction as Union Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting is another major turning point in his political career. Though he has been in politics since many years, he is known to keep a reasonable distance from the political hustle - bustle. Though a Congressman, he maintains good rapport with leaders of other political parties too. There are several occasions when he regretted personal rivalry in the name of politics.

Ambarish did not rise to power as soon as he entered politics. He has tasted both victory and defeat in politics. Unlike many film personalities who succeed in politics in their first attempt itself, Ambarish is a contradiction. Ambarish was the JD (S) candidate in Ramanagar by - elections in 1996 and Huriyalu C. M. Lingappa was the Congress candidate, N. Dharam Singh being the KPCC President then.

It was a direct fight between Congress and JD (S). It was the time when JD (S) was in power in the State and Ambarish was banking on his film - popularity. On the other hand was Congress candidate Lingappa, a local backed by the major political party.

The end result was that Ambarish lost his very first political test. For the Congress, which was in a depressed mood since the defeat in 1994 elections, the victory in Ramanagar was a shot in the arm. Ambarish had stepped into the political scenario during 1994, in the presence of the then Prime Minister P. V. Narasimha Rao. But after H. D. Deve Gowda became the Chief Minister of Karnataka, Ambarish got close to him and accepting Deve Gowda's invitation, quit Congress to join JD (S).

Despite his defeat in Ramanagar, he was given the Janata Dal ticket for Mandya Lok Sabha during 1998, it being his home district. Nicknamed Mandyada Gandu, Ambarish was chosen by the Mandya voters for the Lok Sabha. He has never looked back since then. But the very next year, he rejoined Congress party and won the 1999 election, which proved that though he switched parties, the voters backed him.

He scored a hat - trick victory in the 2004 elections.

3 new roles for “Rebel Star”:
The Congress has assigned three new roles to the “Rebel Star” Ambarish.

Firstly, it was required to erase the persistent feeling of the Vokkaliga community that its members had been sidelined in Congress politics. Secondly, the feeling that there is an urgent need of a fighter to attack the JD (S) domination in the old Mysore region. Thirdly, dies had to be urgently cast to ensure victory in the hotly - debated by-poll from the Chamundeshwari constituency.

Known for speaking his mind without demurring, Malavalli Huchche Gowda Ambarish was in no mood to hold back the purpose of his induction into the Ministry. "I had met Madam Sonia Gandhi about four months ago and explained the issues. She must have felt that whatever I had told her was right. In that backdrop, this opportunity has been given to me. I will perform with a sense of sincerity", Ambarish told the media here last evening.

During the dialogue with the Congress supremo, what did Ambarish tell her?

"I told her that I have to carry on my political activities with Deve Gowda and his sons in the field. How can I face the challenge by remaining as an ordinary party worker, Madam? You just strengthen my hands with a strong weapon and then watch".

"In addition, I had complained to her that Vokkaliga community had not been adequately represented in politics", he added. With Ambarish's entry, a position in the Central Ministry is held by a Vokkaliga after a gap of 10 years. There was no representation for the Vokkaliga community at the Centre since Deve Gowda resigned as Prime Minister 10 years ago.

After M. V. Chandrashekhar Murthy, who was a Minister at the Centre when P. V. Narasimha Rao was Prime Minister, this is the first time that a Vokkaliga has been appointed as a Minister from the Congress party. The allegation was that Vokkaligas were being sidelined after the humiliating defeat of the Congress in the previous polls for the State Assembly under the leadership of S. M. Krishna, the then Chief Minister of Karnataka.

On a couple of occasions, delegations of Vokkaligas had met Sonia Gandhi and had expressed their dissatisfaction. Their contention was that Vokkaligas were not represented in AICC and not even one Vokkaliga was being given the opportunity to be a member of the Rajya Sabha. There was a hectic lobby from Vokkaliga Community for KPCC top post.

Mandya goes ga ga!
Fans of the star - turned politician Ambarish and Congress party workers came on the streets here last evening in celebration of his induction into the Union Ministry. Their joyous moments began even as their hero was all set to take oath of his new office as Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting in the Central Government and continued for hours afterwards until the late evening hours across the city's main thoroughfares and residential extensions.

The supporters and fans of the first - time Minister gathered in large numbers at Sanjay Talkies Circle in the town and shared their moments of happiness among themselves and distributed sweets to hundreds of passersby. Expressing their feelings of gratitude to Congress President as well as Chairperson of the United Progressive Alliance at the Centre, Sonia Gandhi, the admirers of Ambarish raised admiring slogans in her favour.

Celebrations of the son – of – the - soil being raised to the exalled status also spread beyond the limits of the city in Mandya District. Activists of Ambarish Abhimaanigala Sangha in Dodda Byadarahalli, Pandavapura taluk also came into the open and as a mark of their joy over the distinction on Ambarish, distributed sweets to hundreds.

Congress MLA from Keragodu H. B. Ramu, after learning about the induction of Ambarish lost no time in rushing to the capital. In a statement made to the media before his departure, he said: "Our 'brother' (Anna) should have adorned the Minister's crown long time ago. At last, that has happened now. We are all delighted to no end. With this, the party workers have gained self-confidence."

District Congress President H. M. Nagaraju, Town Municipal Vice - President Nasreen Taj and others have greeted Ambarish on the occasion.

Courtesy: Star of Mysore

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