The BJP denied a Lok Sabha ticket to late union minister Ananth Kumar’s wife Tejaswini and instead opted for a fresh face in Karnataka’s Bengaluru South constituency. On Monday, the party declared Tejasvi Surya, a 28-year-old Karnataka High Court lawyer, as its candidate from the prestigious seat. The constituency was represented by Ananth Kumar six times. He had been an MP from 1996 till the time of his death in November 2018. Kumar won by over two lakh votes against Congress candidate and the architect of Aadhaar, Nandan Nilekani in 2014.
Surya’s name, according to new reports, came up during the BJP Central Election Committee (CEC) meeting last week. Though Karnataka BJP chief B S Yeddyurappa had publicly backed Tejaswini’s candidature, a few others in the party objected.
What appeared to have worked in Surya’s favour was his oratory skills and experience in politics. He is presently the general secretary of BJP Youth Wing and part of the party’s national social media team.
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.”
I am humbled. Grateful. Overwhelmed. I thank PM @narendramodi for giving me this opportunity. I can’t thank you enough, Modi Ji. I promise you that I shall work ceaselessly for our motherland till my last breath. That is the only way I can repay this debt of gratitude. THANK YOU!
— Chowkidar Tejasvi Surya (@Tejasvi_Surya) March 25, 2019
He thanked Ananth Kumar, whom he referred to as his “first public guru”, and Tejaswini for grooming him since his high school days.
Among those who congratulated Surya was Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who tweeted saying “all of us together shall ensure #PhirEkBaarModiSarkar”.
Meanwhile, Tejaswani said she will abide by the party’s decision. “Today hundreds of our anxious well wishers & BJP karyakartas visited our house. I told them AnanthKumar ji always believed in: Nation First, Party Next, I Last. On the same lines let’s all abide by the decision of the central leadership & work towards.”
Surya will be up against Congress candidate B K Hariprasad, a heavyweight who was defeated by Ananth Kumar in 1996.