In the wee hours of Tuesday, the BJP announced that a young lawyer from Bengaluru – 28-year-old Tejasvi Surya would contest from the Bengaluru South constituency.
BJP leaders in Karnataka including the party President BS Yeddyurappa had recommended that Tejaswini Ananth Kumar, wife of late Union Minister Ananth Kumar, be nominated from Bengaluru South.
Ananth Kumar has represented the Bengaluru South segment since 1996 and after his demise in November last year, the party’s state leaders wanted his wife Tejaswini to contest elections. But the leadership in Delhi decided otherwise.
BJP party workers, who had been campaigning in the constituency on Tejaswini’s behalf staged a dharna outside her house in VV Puram, when news of Tejasvi’s nomination came in.
Speaking to the media, Tejaswini said that the decision had shocked her. "It is shocking to me and the BJP workers. Let us not ask any more questions. If we have to contribute to this country, we have to work together for Modi,” she said.
BJP party workers, who supported Tejaswini Ananth Kumar also shouted slogans against Tejasvi when he went to her VV Puram residence on Tuesday morning to take her blessings ahead of filing his nomination.
Sources in the BJP say that the BJP cadre are divided over the party’s decision to offer Tejasvi Surya a ticket. "Some of the party workers have been working for Tejaswini and had worked for Ananth Kumar when he was alive. They believe that she was the deserving candidate," the source said.
Nephew of BJP MLA from Basavanagudi – Ravi Subramanya, Tejasvi Surya is a lawyer practising in the Karnataka High Court. As student of Bengaluru’s National College, Tejasvi became a member of the ABVP . He later became a member of the party’s Yuva Morcha during his days as a student in Bangalore Institute of Legal Studies and is currently serving as the general secretary of the BJP Yuva Morcha.
Meanwhile, Tejasvi, who filed his nomination at the Jayanagar BBMP office on Tuesday said that he was given a ticket only because Ananth Kumar had allowed him to grow in the party. Speaking to the media, Tejasvi said, “Ananth Kumarji ensured that I grew in the party. He has been my mentor since I was in high school. I had pestered him to allow me to work for a rally for LK Advani when I was in college. He gave me a lot of chances to grow in the party. He taught me everything about party organisation. Tejaswini Ananth Kumar is like a mother figure to me and she is happy about my nomination,” he said.