File photo of Tejasvi Surya | Facebook
File photo of Tejasvi Surya | Facebook
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Bengaluru: Calling himself the ‘ambassador of Modi’s New India’, Yuva Morcha leader and lawyer Tejasvi Surya said the two factors that would win over the voters in the high-profile Bangalore South Lok Sabha constituency are Modi and he, himself.

The Bangalore South seat, which had been held by senior BJP leader and former Union Minister late Ananth Kumar since 1996, has now been given to the young 28-year-old leader who was caught by surprise when the party announced his name as the candidate for the seat.

“Modi ji and I are two factors in this constituency, but at the same time the votes will be for all three of us, Modi ji, Ananth Kumar and me. The party has reposed so much faith in me. This city and state owe a lot to Ananth Kumarji”, Surya told ThePrint before heading to a late night meeting with entrepreneurs in the Jayanagar Assembly segment.

Surya jumped into the campaigning mode after filing his nomination and since then he has been holding close to 15 to 20 meetings a day. He continues to be surprised that the party leadership zeroed in on his name for the candidature, but also says this shows how the Modi-Shah duo wants to groom new age politicians.

“The way Vajpayeeji and Advaniji groomed leaders such as Sushma Swaraj, Ananth Kumar and others, in a similar way Modiji and Amit Shahji’s era is grooming a lot of leaders of our age. This is how we are also being given a chance,” he said.

A fiery orator

BJP insiders say that he was handpicked by Modi who was impressed by his oratorical and organisational skills. With a huge social media presence, Surya’s tweets and statements have the same tone as that of his party seniors.

Surya had tweeted a link of a speech in which he said, “All anti-India forces have united to stop Modi. While Modi’s agenda is building a new and robust India, their agenda is to stop him. If you are with Modi, you are with India. If you are not with Modi, then you are strengthening anti-India forces”.

This young leader’s statements such as — “How the BJP must ‘really’ become a Hindu party and not just perceived as one” or “How the BJP should unapologetically be a party for Hindus,” or that “Congress is a party of Muslims, every Hindu must be convinced of this truth,” and “USHV (United Spectrum of Hindu Votes) is the only solution to counter Muslim consolidation,” indicate how he sticks to the party’s Hindutva narrative.

His fiery oratory skills are what impressed the BJP high command.

“It was his organisational skills during Mangalore Chalo (a protest walk from Bengaluru to Mangalore against alleged killings of RSS workers) that impressed Shah and Modi,” said a senior BJP leader, who did not wish to be named.

Surya, however, says that while he dons this new role of a national leader, he would take a more mature approach.

“I wouldn’t want to say that I will tone down my language, but would handle issues with additional maturity. That would not mean that my conviction is going to dilute in any way. However, I have to transform from any 28-year-old to a more responsible person who will be taking up an office of constitutional importance,” he said.


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


Rift within BJP

Surya’s candidature has caused a rift within the state BJP as one faction led by former Karnataka chief minister and BJP state party president B.S. Yeddyurappa had suggested Tejaswini, the wife of late Ananth Kumar, be nominated from the seat. But, senior RSS leader and BJP national secretary B.L. Santosh impressed upon the party leadership that Surya was a better candidate as he would attract and appeal to the young voters as well.

Yeddyurappa had openly announced Tejaswini’s name as their only choice and based on his support, she had opened a campaign office and begun her campaigning in the constituency even before the final list came out.

Ananth Kumar’s supporters have been extremely dismayed by Surya’s nomination and have been refusing to help build a support base for him during his campaign.

“Kumar’s supporters feel betrayed and they are in no mood to campaign for the new candidate. The party has asked everybody to discard individual differences and work towards a BJP victory. But they are very hurt. It is going to be tough to convince them,” said another senior BJP functionary on condition of anonymity.


Also read: Change of guard, no family card: BJP’s larger message in ticket distribution


I have the support of all leaders: Surya

Surya, however, claims he has the support of all leaders, including Tejaswini whom he had referred to as a mother figure.

“Yeddyurappa sir was thrilled when I met him before collecting my B-form and said to me Vijaya bhavaa hogi, gedhkondu baa (Wish you success, win and come),” Surya said.

Surya is being challenged by 64-year-old Congress veteran B.K. Hariprasad, who was a surprise candidate as well. Hariprasad had emerged from the ranks of Congress’ student wing, the National Student Union of India (NSUI). He had unsuccessfully contested against Ananth Kumar from Bangalore South seat and lost by over 65,000 votes in the 1999 polls.

“I am well prepared to face any challenge. I will reach out to all friends and foes to ensure a win for the Congress”, said a confident Hariprasad while campaigning.

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8 Comments Share Your Views

8 COMMENTS

  1. What he speaks is the truth… the nation has been suppressed by so many wrong policies and useless action by people empowered by multiple chances of majority vote over 7 decades. Look at srilanka, myanmar, vietnam etc and see how they manage to run a clean country despite the worst odds – with breatheable air, drivable roads, green villages , flowing rivers… what have they done to this country… cities have turned to slums…concrete ugliness…water-crisis ridden and what not. The worst points are 1. that mass transit systems like the metro are at least 3 decades belated…digging for metro in most of india was begun when the cities are so thickly populated… disrupting so many aspects of peoples’ lives… and 2. cutting trees and planning to replace them with air purifiers… this is the lowest level of thinking any government can do…
    So all those who start sounding like saints and gods when blunt truth is spoken…try and valorise it before shooting off homilies… it is not going to be worth any body’s time… try to look at it when some one shows you the mirror… you can look away later…

  2. 👍👌🏼👏 Modi and his team of committed colleagues who have all, by and large, delivered very creditably on their respective mandates and discharged the responsibilities allotted to them with full confidence in their leader. We have also noticed the emergence of a talented team of young political aspirants in their 40’s, who are being groomed to carry forward his mission as the old guard starts exiting from active politics. This is the hallmark of a good leader who is farsighted enough to ensure that a 2nd eleven is ready in the wings to step in as worthy substitutes whenever needed.

  3. We need such strong people to counter face secularism, minority appeasement by all the opposition parties. Hindus have been very tolerant and accommodative, but the minorities have taken this to be a sign of weakness. They rampantly ridicule Hindus and their beliefs and indulge in conversions. When the Hindus protest against this, they go to their western masters and complain that Hindus are aggressive and violent.

    All such people supported by the pseudo secular parties will be relegated to the sidelines after this election

  4. What an ego, Sirji for a young man! People, who are expected to elect the MP, don’t matter nor their concern. I, me and my masters matter. Is it? New India?
    At least, let Mr Ananth Kumar’s soul rest in peace!
    RSS should think of rechristening BJP, as it now about brazenness (behsharam – differentiates “s” and “sh”) , bad language, barking (read shouting), bekar,jumlas and a lot of words starting with B. Choice is really wide.

  5. It is a pity that sellers of hate are being thrust upon us. It would not be surprising if Gandhi statues are replaced with godse statues in the near future.

  6. I feel sorry for genation next who would grow listening to such so called young leaders whose speaking skills are going to be worst than Modi whose anger against opponents has gone out of mind so much that he has equated UP alignment with liquor. Even it is a political discourse how can media keep mute. Nehruji may have committed few mistakes, at least our parents and through them have learnt use decent language even those who have different point of view.

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