Worried about making sulking actor Ambarish its candidate, the Congress is eyeing an alternative: Kannada moviedom's glam doll Ramya

If star-gazing Congress leaders have their way, the lovely Ramya will replace aging movie star Ambarish as the party candidate in Mandya.

Star power: Ramya with her mother Ranjitha

While sitting MP Ambarish is still trying to drive a hard bargain and get the party to settle his debts, the high command is zeroing in on Ramya as the alternative.

Prompted by Ambarish's procrastination, Ramya's mother Ranjitha met state Congress president R V Deshpande on Thursday to tell him she was willing to contest if the rebel star opted out.

Deshpande, however, is understood to have suggested that her daughter would be a better candidate. This was followed by a round of talks with Ramya.

Deshpande admitted to the talks: "Ranjitha is our party worker and she met me to discuss party issues. We discussed possible candidates but nothing has been finalised. Things will be clear by Friday."

Krishna camp at work

Ranjitha is known to be close to former chief minister S M Krishna and is an active member of the Mandya unit of the Congress. Her star daughter has a huge following in Mandya and the district is considered an ideal political launch pad for her.

Ranjitha had even campaigned for Krishna's nephew, Gurusharan, when he contested the Maddur bypoll a couple of months ago.

"The Krishna camp is behind the development," said a source in Congress. "Krishna wants Ramya to contest from Mandya and the high command is weighing its options."

However, a highly placed source said Ambarish would file his nomination today or tomorrow, the last day for filing nominations.

Ambarish was not available for comment.

Rahul's my inspiration: Ramya
Asked about her possible poll vault, Ramya would only say: "Let's see what's there in my fate. But, nobody has directly approached me yet."

Sounding slightly nervous, she said she was too young to plunge into politics. However, she said the Congress was a party of youngsters and she was drawing inspiration from young leaders including Rahul Gandhi and Sachin Pilot.