Ramya opts out of Cong Youth brigade

Yesterday was last day to file nominations for election of Youth Congress president, but actress did not show up amidst speculations that she is miffed with party leaders over gag order for praising Narendra Modi
The state Congress lost the chance of getting a prospective glam quotient at the leadership level with actress Ramya withdrawing from the race for Youth Congress president.

The last day for filing nominations for the elections was yesterday and the high profile glamour doll didn't turn up.

Actress Ramya did not turn up to file her nomination yesterday,
making Union Labour Minister Mallikarjuna Kharge's son Priyank
Kharge  one of the front-runners for the post of Youth Congress President

The actress is apparently miffed over the gag order issued by party leaders for praising Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi publicly and referring to him as her role model.

However, sources have said that she is currently in Europe shooting for a film, while others feel that she would not be able to afford to put in the time and dedication the role commands and therefore stayed away.

The actress was elected as a booth president from Shanthi Nagar earlier this month and since this was the first procedural step for the candidature of the Youth Congress president, expectations of her jumping into the fray were high.

Silence pleases?
Union Labour Minister Mallikarjuna Kharge's son Priyank Kharge and Rizwan, a party worker from Mysore, are among the front-runners with eighteen nominations filed in all.

Ramya is apparently upset over the party leaders restricting her from talking to the media after she praised Modi in public. Following her declaration, party leaders had asked her to show restraint since she was a prospective candidate for the elections due for October 12 and 13.

"As per party guidelines, poll candidates are not supposed to interact with the media. Ramya was expected to contest the polls and we had informed her about the rules. What is wrong in it?" said V K Arivalagan, returning officer of the state Youth Congress elections.

Sources said that although she was showing displeasure over the gag orders, Ramya's decision to keep away from the polls was a well thought out strategy.

"Ramya is a film star and her popularity is definitely going to help the party. But as Youth Congress president, she will be expected to worked hard and dedicate herself to party work, which she cannot afford to do. She took an intelligent decision to stay out of the race," said D K Shivakumar, senior Congress leader.

Long-term plans!
Ramya, whose family is close to Foreign Minister S M Krishna, is an aspiring politician and her name has cropped up for the party candidature from Mandya parliamentary constituency in the 2009 elections.

Apparently eying candidature either from Mandya or from Bangalore (Central) in the next polls, Ramya is understood to have projected herself as a front-runner for the post of Youth Congress president. However, according to sources, she didn't want to take up the responsibility in reality.

"When it comes to distribution of party tickets for the next elections, there may be many contenders and Ramya may face opposition.

She wants her case to be stronger in the eventuality, and therefore she is trying to project herself as a serious party worker. Contesting the booth elections is a result of this," said a source in the party.

While rumblings have already been heard in the party against her inclusion, H Viswanath, MP from Mysore, had criticised D K Shivakumar for supporting the actress had indirectly called her "Shivakumar's girl friend."

While Ramya is apparently hurt by these insinuations, Shivakumar said, "Viswanath better behave with some dignity. Ramya is from a rich political background and he is only asking for trouble by uttering nonsense about her."

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