The BJP has decided to field 28-year-old lawyer Tejasvi Surya from the high-profile Bengaluru South Lok Sabha constituency, which was earlier held by BJP’s south India face and former Cabinet minister Ananth Kumar.
The decision should not come as surprise, as Surya, a Brahmin, who has been associated with the RSS since his childhood, is known for his sharp oratory and has travelled extensively campaigning for the party during the Assembly elections.
An ardent supporter of the RSS and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Surya’s politics and the language of his speeches revolve around the need to establish a Hindu society. Also, there is a leadership vacuum in the BJP after the demise of Kumar in Karnataka.
And just like Kumar, Surya, who is well versed in Hindi, is likely to be catapulted to the centre. Surya will be facing Congress candidate B K Hariprasad in Bengaluru South constituency, which is considered a BJP bastion.
Surya’s name came up during the BJP Central Election Committee (CEC) meeting last week. Though Karnataka BJP chief B S Yeddyurappa had publicly backed Kumar’s wife- Tejaswini’s candidature, a few others in the party objected.
After winning the nomination, an exuberant Surya tweeted: OMG OMG!!! I can’t believe this. PM of world’s largest democracy & President of largest political party have reposed faith in a 28 yr old guy to represent them in a constituency as prestigious as B’lore South. This can happen only in my BJP. Only in #NewIndia of @narendramodi.”
The BJP secured a massive 57 per cent of votes in the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. The last time Congress won this seat was in 1989. But Congress recently tasted success in the constituency – after it secured the Jayanagar assembly segment in the assembly elections. The Congress won the seat after it forged an alliance with the Janata Dal (Secular) Hence, the Congress-JDS can give a tough competition to the BJP, which has significant support from Vokkaliga and Muslim communities.