Bengaluru: After keeping the ruling Congress on tenterhooks for several days, film star-turned-politician M H Ambareesh on Tuesday said he would not contest the 12 May assembly election, citing health reasons. "I cannot, I cannot do justice to my responsibilities...I have done my duty all these years...as I'm getting aged, my strength and interest have become weak," Ambareesh told reporters in Bengaluru.
The Congress announced Ambareesh's candidature from Mandya seat in the first list of candidates on 15 April, but he had not filed his nomination and remained incommunicado.
He conveyed his decision not to contest to the party leaders through his associate just hours before the deadline for filing of nominations ends today, party sources said.
Following Ambareeh's decision not to contest the polls, the Congress has issued its B-form (required to be filed by a political party mentioning the name of its approved candidate) to P Ravikumar Ganiga for the constituency.
Popularly known as the "rebel star", Ambareesh is a Vokkaliga leader and wields considerable clout in the Mandya region, where the community has a large presence. Noting he had undergone treatment four years ago in Singapore, he said, "It will be difficult. People would have kept faith in us...I will not be able to do things. When I know I can't it is good to remain silent."
The Congress sources said that the B-form was issued to Ambareesh at his residence, as he did not collect it from the party office. Ambareesh is said to be miffed with the party and chief minister Siddaramaiah as he was dropped from the ministry in 2016 during a major rejig of the cabinet.
The veteran actor was housing minister then. He said, "Siddaramaiah had removed me (from the cabinet). If I was not capable then, will I be made minister again? They won't. I will have to sit as an MLA because the people of Mandya will obviously vote and send me to assembly, because of their love towards me."
Asked whether he was still upset with the party and the chief minister for being dropped, he said, "I'm only saying I know my capability. What is being upset about it? Ambareesh is never upset."
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Updated Date: Apr 24, 2018 19:32:44 IST