The silence and absence of actor-turned-politician, Ambareesh, also known as the ‘Man of Mandya’, during the fiery Cauvery water agitation, has disappointed the people of Mandya. But Ramya is making her presence felt, almost in his place, by making her views on Cauvery issue very visible to voters, in particular through social media or more traditional news outlets.

 

Interestingly, Ramya, who was once criticised by Ambareesh’s fans as a weak political candidate, has been making sensible comments sans the airs of a movie star. It would seem that she is taking her political career seriously, and working hard to make a favourable her impression on the people of Mandya.

 

Mandya is the epicentre of Cauvery water-sharing issue as a significant number of farmers in the region depend on the water from the Cauvery River. Mandya is usually where the most intense protests occur during each Cauvery crisis.

 

Mandya had elected Ramya as their Member of Parliament (MP) from the Congress party in a bye-election in 2013, becoming the youngest MP in India at the time. But she was defeated in the General Assembly election in 2014 by the JD(S) candidate CS Puttaraju.

 

During that election, rumours were ripe that the fans of Ambareesh, who was also a candidate, worked in favour of Puttaraju to make sure Ramya was defeated.

 

So, is Ambareesh hinting at a political retirement with his absence the current, most crucial problem Karnataka is facing? Perhaps, but even to answer this, he needs first to make an appearance.

 

Meanwhile, his absence might have worked in favour of Ramya, who has ably handled herself through several political crises.

 

Mandya just might be getting a new 'star' to represent the problems of the people there.