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HomeOpinionPoliTricksBJP's search for a young face could end with fiery Tejasvi Surya

BJP’s search for a young face could end with fiery Tejasvi Surya

BJP desperately needs a young Yogi Adityanath for cross-state campaigning, so it doesn’t look like a party without a future, solely relying on Modi and Amit Shah.

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The Bharatiya Janata Party of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah is in search of a young, next-generation leader whom it can possibly groom with an aim for a larger role in the future. And, Tejasvi Surya, the party’s MP from Bangalore South constituency, seems poised to play the part.

Tejasvi has been everywhere these past few months — given an important seat to contest from in the 2019 Lok Sabha election, appointed as the BJP’s youth wing president, become a member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Information and Technology, and made to campaign aggressively in states such as West Bengal and Bihar with which he has no connection. And all this when he is yet to touch 30 — a very young age in Indian politics by any measure.

So what makes Tejasvi a good fit for Modi-Shah’s vision? He is enterprising, educated, social media savvy and, most importantly, has no qualms in polarising Hindutva rhetoric against Muslims on demand. The larger point being that the BJP is increasingly looking less young, even with its oldest members L.K. Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi having been firmly pushed into the margdarshak mandal for a few years now. The BJP desperately needs to identify a strong, smart and bankable young leader, so it can weave a projection of being a party with a future and not one that is relying just on its current successful run. It also needs Modi-Shah to be seen as actively grooming the youngest lot.

Also read: BJP promotes youth, doesn’t keep them on wait-list, new Yuva Morcha chief Tejasvi Surya says

The need for a young face

The BJP’s bench strength is a big concern — weak and uninspiring — and the weight of the party is entirely on Modi and Amit Shah, besides its strong regional guard.

Look at the Modi Cabinet, for instance. There is an absolute dearth of talent, and it is mostly underwhelming. To fill a key portfolio like external affairs, Modi had to rely on outside talent, in former diplomat S.Jaishankar. And given the state of the Indian economy and with no capable hands to manage it, a lateral entrant as finance minister may not be a bad idea either, as I had argued in a recent column.

Politically, the BJP is banking entirely on Modi’s massive popularity and Amit Shah’s electoral management abilities, at the national level. In various states, it has its strong leaders, like Shivraj Singh Chouhan in Madhya Pradesh, B.S Yediyurappa in Karnataka, Devendra Fadnavis in Maharashtra and, to an extent, Raman Singh in Chhattisgarh and Vasundhara Raje in Rajasthan. The jury on Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, who was even deployed in Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana for cross-state campaigning, is still out. Only the 2022 assembly election in UP will tell us how deep he has dug his heels in electoral politics. In Assam, the BJP has a very strong hand in Himanta Biswa Sarma, but his glaring weak point is that he is a Congress import and not from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) background.

But this is just a handful of prominent, successful leaders and most are restricted to their respective states. At the national level, the BJP needs a young, savvy face to carry its mantle and project the party’s youthful side. Smriti Irani is young, but her political journey remains chequered. Dharmendra Pradhan, 51, is bright, enterprising and among the better ministers, but isn’t projected aggressively as a political face of the party.

While leaders like Anurag Thakur, Nupur Sharma and Guru Prakash are some names in the articulate, energetic and Hindutva brandishing gen-next bracket, it is Tejasvi Surya who seems to be the hot favourite as of now.

Also read: Why BJP chose Tejasvi Surya for Bengaluru South over Ananth Kumar’s widow Tejaswini

Why Tejasvi Surya

Tejasvi Surya, the fiery orator, hails from a family of BJP leaders and has gone through the RSS-ABVP cycle. Being an educated lawyer with a good grip over policy affairs adds to his plus points. He is also social media savvy — a key qualifier in modern-day politics. He, for instance, is said to have impressed his party leadership with pointed interventions during the IT Committee hearing of the Facebook row.

Most significantly, he can brandish the Hindutva sword and speak the party’s language when needed. Spewing venom and talking toxic will not be an issue, as demonstrated by his abhorrent ‘Arab women’s orgasm’ tweet quoting Tarek Fatah and ‘Shaheen Bagh Mughals’ remark. “Call me a bigot, communal fanatic or whatever. But singular reason for BJP’s defeat in Jayanagar is the complete consolidation of Muslim vote. Look at the below numbers from Gurappanapalya, a Muslim locality. BJP must ‘really’ become a Hindu party & not just be perceived as one,” he had tweeted in 2018.

Earlier this year, Surya did his party proud by pushing its majoritarian agenda brazenly when he tweeted that the “control of state power by Hindus is absolutely essential for sustenance of Dharma”.

A ‘bigot’ who knows it and is also not afraid to say it fits right into the BJP’s scheme of things. Of course, all BJP leaders speak the party’s language, but some like Tejasvi have the gift of taking it a step forward, adding their own garnish of polarising toxicity and communal belligerence, and establishing themselves as useful political tools.

As against someone like Yogi Adityanath, for instance, Tejasvi has the advantage of being a more suave, educated, social media pro and relatable leader for BJP’s young voters. He is saffron enough, without having to don the saffron robe — an ideal combination for a Hindutva party looking to target the youth.

The fact that the Modi-Shah combine is indeed promoting him became clear when they chose him to fight from the prestigious Bangalore South Lok Sabha seat in 2019 over late Ananth Kumar’s wife Tejaswini. Since then, it has only been an upward curve for the 29-year-old leader. Tejasvi is the rare Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha chief from South India.

In the two politically important states — Bihar where elections are on and West Bengal, which votes next year — Tejasvi is actively campaigning for his party, an indication of the projection the BJP has planned for him.

There is a big, gaping hole in the BJP — of a promising, young and fiery leader who can operate at a national level. Tejasvi Surya is controversial, but indulges in just the kind of controversy the BJP revels in. He ticks all the boxes as of now, including having won his maiden Lok Sabha election with an impressive margin. It may be too early to speculate on Tejasvi’s future political course and how the party will groom and push him, but for now, the ‘bigot’ seems all set to be the blue-eyed next-generation BJP leader.

Views are personal.

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  1. Tejasvi Surya can aim to become a state-level leader in next 5 years. But he has to work beyond his constituency. In immediate future, he lacks the mass reach of Yediyurappa, and is confined to Bangalore South. On a national level, he has very dim chance, as leaders like Yogi Adityanath, Piyush Goyal, Devendra Pradhan and Devendra Fadnavis are already waiting. It is a long line at Delhi. Also he doesn’t know Hindi fluently, which is required for National leader. So at a national level, he can aim to become like Mr. Ananth Kumar. He has to decide whether to become a state leader or a national leader 5 years from now, and work accordingly.

  2. Sorry.Giving speech is not great.
    But thig youngMP is involved in so many public issues which he personally visits and directs people like the impasse in BTM layout or the clearing of debris in Yeshwantpur and many unsolved long pendig issues in Bangalore.This is not highlighted.
    This public service that he is involved specially during covid tomes need to be told.

  3. Inviting readers to comment and list down more skills we expect from the young politicians across political parties in India beside the ones listed by Ruhi ??????????

    social media skills

    Are these the only skills they need to be a politician ?????????? Social media skills ????

  4. Yes, BJP really is in need of a young leader, because all of its Top leaders are past their age. The state level CMs ,though young, but lack leadership qualities. They all depend for their survival on Modi’s charisma. Unfortunately, those with qualities, Sushama, Parrikar, and Jaitely died. I don’t know much about Tejasvi Surya, but if as mentioned here, he must be groomed for the future role at all India level

  5. It is hard to imagine a conservative South Indian Karnataka Brahmin enthuse voters in the Hindi heartland or Bihar or West Bengal.

    It’s impossible. At the most he can rise in the party as a core intellectual and become a flamboyant External Affairs minister. Somewhat similar but nowhere close to Tharoor. But he is still young and has time.

  6. He won with an impressive margin from an upper caste dominated constituency. Can he really win elections beyond such constituencies?

    He is no comparison to Yogi Adityanath or Amit Shah who worked a lifetime at grassroots level. In contrast he attained quick popularity among BJP followers through social media and TV that is all. But is it sustainable?

  7. If this is journalism, I don’t know what really is whataboutery. I don’t really know how does this BS pass through editorial checks. To Ruhi Tewari- You are a complete jackass and your better half Prashant a womaniser.

    • Ad hominem attacks, typical of RW degenerates.

      Do you even have a point or all you have is just slime to throw around on people? If you have nothing good to contribute to the society, better roll over and wither, r*pist sanghi.

      • Calling out BS journalism is good. But your hypocrisy of ignoring her use of language for the MP by calling him a bigot for no reason and trying to preach him how to give his opinions is stupid and degenerate.
        Don’t put people in groups just because you don’t have any other point to present.
        And look at ur language despicable and disgusting.

    • Op: Instead of resorting to formulating an argument and particpating in a constructive debate you resort to cheap abuse. Whilst that may be what they teach you in the Gaurakshak Academy, alas, that is not how democracy works. Trust me, I too can resort to those Hindutva tactics and heap abuse on you. Of course, not being an itchy-groined Modi & Adityanath worshipping, gomutra swilling, lobotomised chap, I will refrain from abusing you.

  8. What a low level journalism by a substandard journalist. You should rather have a mud slinging match with Tejaswi on a nukkad naka. Calling someone names just shows your upbringing. Criticise him but on valid points, not on random, useless name calling. It just shows your frustration and jealousy and nothing else. I follow Shekhar for ‘Cut the Clutter’ and really like his to the point journalism and then feel that Print is really something good but then i read the likes of Ruhi and Shivam and change my mind. Seriously , this is piece that should be taught in the journalism schools to show the students as how a journalistic piece should not be written.

  9. If our columnist is reading the tea leaves correctly, that suggests religious polarisation is seen as the key to retaining power for the next forty odd years that Shri Tejasvi Surya will grace public life. A different approach from the one adopted by PM ABV, who recognised that dilution of some hard edged ideology was required to pursue the long term national interest. Bangalore is India’s IT capital, an industry that has given us global respect, created wealth and ethical billionaires. One would have expected PM aspirants from the city to draw inspiration from Nandan Nilekani.

    • Nandan Nilekani cannot brainwash, talks sense. Cannot train rabble rousers. So totally disqualified in present atmosphere.

  10. Nice Play Quint. You are the most dangerous type of Bigots here. Like Wolf in a Sheeps Clothing. Eventhough you openly criticize BJP and it’s policies if they are wrong, you actually suggest how to stay in Power by using various tactics like for example, giving pretty good ideas to BJP as to how to stay in Power. Clearly you are following British ideals. Kudos.

  11. Is this author a journalist or a 10 JP stooge?
    According to her logic, Shivraj Patil was a better Home Minister than Amit Shah, AK Antony better Defence Minister than Rajnath Singh, Lalu-Mamta better Railway Minister than Prabhu-Goyal, A Raja better Communication Minister than Ravi Shankar Prasad. Is she on payroll of Shekhar Gupta or Sonia Gandhi?

  12. What use is such learning which is being used to divide the nation and sow poison in minds of people? History says that Jinnah was a lawyer of great repute but ended his political career by permanently damaging his motherland. By electing TS on Ananth Kumar’s seat, Bangaloreans have fallen in the esteem of educated, cosmopolitan South Indians. Even the Shiv Sena in Mumbai seems to be realising the damage that “divide and rule” politics of the BJP-RSS is doing to the nation. I urge Bangaloreans to boot out this fellow to UP or Bihar for his political bread and stand with rest of South India in rejecting hate and divisive religion based politics.

  13. This article seems one sided, heavy handed on a budding leader, of course TS needs to be more inclusive with his views. I would trust TS any day to lead the country than RG.

  14. The writer repeatesly calls Tejasvi Surya a bigot. For what ? For speaking the truth ? The writer is a rascal. If you can use disgusting language why do you moderate other point of views.

  15. The writer repeatesly calls Tejasvi Surya a bigot. For what ? For speaking the truth ? The writer is a rascal.

  16. Ruhi Tiwari, why don’t you go and join “The wire” or ” Scroll”. You will be promoted fast enough in your biased journalism.

    This article looks more like frustration vomit than a opinion piece.

  17. Tejavi reminds me of people from the Conservative States of the US Midwest. Smart, conservative, dont understand science, Deeply religious and absolute hate sewers.

  18. POOHI is a CONGRASS journalist .

    She prefers congrass leaders who refer woman as TANCH MAAL or ITEM.

    She doesn’t want leadership which opposes proselytizers

    She doesn’t raise objection to people reading namaz in temples.

    She is angered when rented journalist and undereducated jhollawallas are made irrelevant.

    She is in depression since she has realised she will never be as RICH as GUPTAJI when one-sided conversation offered power to loot INDIANS.

  19. In what angle Tejaswi Surya is bigot. God only knows how the editor in chief of this portal tolerate such mentally sick journalist. Since 2002 the almost all media has single point agenda to target Modi about 2002 riots. But Modi proved them all wrong and became Prime Minister twice. You journalists have different stanards of journalism depending upon what suits to your
    agenda. when something happens in BJP ruled states then it becomes national issue. Recent example is Hathras. At the same time minor girls were victims of same crime as UP but no journalist found no time to make it issue because it is ruled by Congress. Similarly what is happening with Republiv TV is of no concern to journalistic fraternity. It the same thing was done by some BJP ruled state, all journalists would have been up in arms. Many articles would have appeared in international media targeting BJP. But there’s pin drop silence in this case. That is how journalists play double standards and in the process losing credibility in large section of society. You may think I am BJP sympathiser but I am not.

    • You are clearly a BJP sympathiser, dont try to paint yourself as a neutral actor. Unlike Congress govt, UP govt cremated the girl like animals in the middle of the night in Hathras. Republic TV is a joke in the name of journalism, it is an entertainment channel – why are you asking journalists to cover entertainment channels? Ask MTV or Channel V.

      Tejasvi is an open bigot, he doesn’t mind being called that either. He himself says,“Call me a bigot, communal fanatic or whatever. But singular reason for BJP’s defeat in Jayanagar is the complete consolidation of Muslim vote”. How can you defend a person who is admitting to being a bigot? Andbhakti much?

  20. This articles is by a bigot journalist who is doing the same thing to Tejaswi Surya which was done to Modi, Yogi and BJP …. paint them polarizing.
    These journalist do not find any fault with AIUDF, PFI, SDPI, DMK, AIMIM etc.

  21. This armchair journalism which reads in news and newsmakers have hardly understanding and wish to make comments with headlines. BJP is for more complex and rich with resources party. They have a mammoth field workers who are faceless strength of the party. These people are glued to the objectives and not leaders. This is biggest difference. Second one, how BJP does politics is just like any other political party hence it is more sharp than others i.e. select leaders/ speakers and firm on ground.
    Journalist who think it is “one/ two” responsible for a party to succeed can only be damn stupid. It was Jaitley who pitched in conclave to put Modi’s face for 2019 election and it was Modi who accepted the responsibility.

  22. This person fights on a safe seat held by late ananth kumar, he is a big zero in karnataka,
    . Comparing him with yogi is laughable, yogi is the head of the goraknath mutt with many followers and only because of his clout he was made chief minister.
    Leader arises from masses , a person who is imposes cannot become a leader, shoutung on television does not make a leader.

    • Mr Mahadevan: Adityanath may be head of the Gorakhnath mutt but he is a Nazi bigot who needs to be prosecuted for his incendiary statements and the violence he advocates.

      Leaders do not necessarily arise from the masses. They arise more often from marketing campaigns, case in point being Narendra Modi. CM Modi spent about USD 1 billion and had the US PR firm APCO Worldwide create and run his marketing campaign. APCO whitewashed his image and created a larger than life image of a visionary leader. Of course, India’s middle classes fell for that image, forgave the pogrom he engineered, forgot his economic incompetence amd foreign policy weaknesses and voted in a deeply flawed Gujarati to power. And the Chinese captured Indian territory, killed Indian soldiers.

      Tejaswi Surya is a South Indian clone, a mirror image of Adityanath. He too will use a local PR firm and win votes. That is how democracy works. As Plato said:

      “Democracy is the triumph of opinion over knowledge”

    • It is because of people like him Ananthkumar won from Bangalore South (my constituency). Ananthkumar was not connected at local party level. Any person can raise or fail. At this point he is young and got opportunity. If he works well he will do well in the party.

  23. This guy is an id*ot. BJP is shooting itself on its foot by appointing this guy. Anyway, good for the nation in long run that the real incompetent face of the bhajipao party will come to the fore more readily.

      • I’m more than happy that BJP has promoted this guy. It will automatically lead to their downfall. Its like Rahul Gandhi for congress, till the time he stays, congress will never rise. Now go sh*t on the street, filthy sanghi.

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