- Tejasvi Surya has been named in BJP's ninth list
- For a while, there was talk about PM contesting from the seat
- Bangalore South was previously held by Union Minister Ananth Kumar
Tejasvi Surya, a young lawyer and a rising star in the BJP, has been named the party's candidate for the prestigious Bangalore South seat in Karnataka after much discussion and drama. For a while, there was even talk about Prime Minister Narendra Modi contesting from the seat besides his Varanasi seat in Uttar Pradesh.
After a late night meeting on Monday, the ruling party ended all speculation by naming Tejasvi Surya, 28, for the constituency, which votes on April 18 in the national election.
Tejasvi Surya's reaction on Twitter was exuberant.
"OMG OMG! I can't believe this. PM of world's largest democracy and President of largest political party have reposed faith in a 28-year-old guy to represent them in a constituency as prestigious a Bangalore South. ...This can happen only in my BJP. Only in #NewIndia of @narendramodi," tweeted Tejasvi Surya.
My hands are trembling as I type this. Last year, I had opportunity to talk to our Hon'ble President @AmitShah Ji. The one hour conversation with him left me so motivated that I couldn't sleep for a week. His determination, conviction to ideology is infectious. Thank you!— Chowkidar Tejasvi Surya (@Tejasvi_Surya) March 25, 2019
Okay! Sleep is not coming. So much excitement. So much adrenaline rush. So many hopes for the future. So much of work to do. One life time is not enough. If Modi can work for 20 hours a day at 68, we must be able to do more at 28!— Chowkidar Tejasvi Surya (@Tejasvi_Surya) March 25, 2019
Yeah. Nomination tomorrow. See you all tomorrow
Bangalore South was previously held by Union Minister Ananth Kumar, who died last year. Ananth Kumar had retained the seat ever since he defeated Congress's BK Hariprasad in 1999.
Some reports had suggested the BJP delayed an announcement on this seat as it was debating whether to field Ananth Kumar's wife Tejaswini Ananth Kumar, recommended by Karnataka BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa.
Mr Yeddyurappa had told NDTV that Tejaswini Ananth Kumar would be the Bangalore South candidate; she had also started campaigning for the seat.
Tejaswini Ananth Kumar tweeted last night to her supporters.
My urge all the BJP karyakartas, friends and well wishers who are anxious and upest & still visting our house in large numbers— Chowkidar Tejaswini AnanthKumar (@Tej_AnanthKumar) March 25, 2019
Time to show we are a 'party with a difference'.We are all committed to tread the path of ideology.
And work for
Tejasvi Surya called her a "mother figure in his high school days" and said she had given him her "complete blessings" saying the party's decision is foremost.
When over the past few days, the possibility of PM Modi contesting from the high-profile seat floated around, several BJP leaders put out appeals to the Prime Minister in tweets. But the party dismissed the reports as rumours.
Finally, Tejasvi Surya, who comes from a family of BJP leaders and is believed to have an association with the party's ideological mentor Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), won out. The nephew of BJP lawmaker Ravi Subramanya, he is said to be the party's youngest candidate.
The poll debutant has gained a reputation as a fiery orator. Critics have accused him of delivering polarizing speeches.
He is a practicing lawyer at the Karnataka High Court. He was much younger when he founded a social organisation named "Arise India". He has reportedly also handled the BJP's IT cell in Karnataka.
Tejasvi Surya will face a Congress veteran, BK Hariprasad, who is contesting from the seat after two decades.
This time, ruling coalition partners Janata Dal (Secular) and Congress are fighting in an alliance for the first time in Karnataka. This is seen to have changed the dynamics of the constituency dominated by Vokkaliggas, Brahmins and Muslims. This time, Congress leaders insist, the division of the non-BJP votes will be almost negligible. Perhaps sensing the challenge, the BJP nixed Tejaswini Ananth Kumar despite her willingness to fight. Party sources say it was felt that Tejasvi Surya was a better bet for pulling in voters irrespective of caste and religion.