The Kannada film industry has hit a jackpot in the Congress government with veteran super star M H Ambarish and award-winning actor Umashree being roped into the Council of Ministers.
Mining magnate and film producer Santosh Lad too made it to Siddaramaiah’s ministry.
Both were administered the oath of office by Karnataka Governor H R Bhardwaj on Saturday in the presence of Chief Minister K Siddaramaiah. As many as 29 ministers, including Cabinet and state ranks, were sworn in with vacancy for 3 for ministers left unfilled.
However, the film industry is unlikely to get any more representation. Another producer Muniratna Naidu has also won the election, but he is unlikely to be appointed minister.
Close to 20 persons from Sandalwood had contested the Assembly elections and only a handful made it to the legislature. Incidentally, Ambarish’s entry into the Cabinet was dramatic because there was strong opposition to his candidature.
In his home district Mandya, the local Congress boycotted him after he meddled with the allocation of tickets. Consequently, the Congress was decimated in Mandya district by the Janata Dal (Secular) while Ambarish was the lone winner.
Ambarish had previously lost the Assembly elections and this was the first time he entered the Assembly and was lucky to be appointed minister despite widespread opposition.
Umashree too should consider lucky because she is also a first time winner from the Congress. It is to be seen whether both leaders get important ministerial portfolios. As soon as both film personalities were sworn in as ministers, their fans celebrated in euphoria. It is unlikely that both will continue acting because of their new found roles.