The last date for filing nomination for the second phase of the Lok Sabha polls is just two days away. And yet the BJP has not announced its candidate for the Bengaluru South Lok Sabha segment.
Incidentally, ever since rumours were rife in the media that the seat has been reserved for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, several BJP leaders and party workers began tweeting from their Twitter handles, requesting Modi to contest from Bengaluru South. But senior BJP leader from Karnataka Suresh Kumar said that those were only rumours.
However, BJP insiders said that there was an internal scuffle between BJP National General Secretary BL Santosh and state party President BS Yeddyurappaâ€™s supporters, over offering the ticket to Tejaswini Ananth Kumar, wife of the late Union Minister Ananth Kumar. While BL Santosh wants to contest from the seat, Yeddyurappa has backed Tejaswini.
The Bengaluru South segment has been a bastion of the BJP ever since Ananth Kumar defeated Congress heavyweight BK Hariprasad in 1999. The Congress has once again fielded BK Hariprasad as its candidate for the upcoming polls.
Tejaswini Ananth Kumar or Tejaswi Surya?
With Ananth Kumarâ€™s demise in November 2018, several state leaders decided to back Tejaswini Ananth Kumar and the leaders had also announced that she was going to be the partyâ€™s pick. However, an official announcement was never made.
Meanwhile, during the BJP Central Committee meeting held on Saturday, a few BJP leaders are said to have opposed Tejaswiniâ€™s candidature, and instead wanted to field Tejaswi Surya, a lawyer and BJP member.
Tejaswi's uncle, Ravi Subramanya, is the BJP MLA from Basawanagudi segment in Bengaluru.
â€śTejaswi Surya has been a member of the BJP for a while and he has worked for the party. His family members have been part of the RSS and are from the Brahmin community. He has good oratory skills and is better than Tejaswini. Besides, he has experience handling political affairs,â€ť a BJP source said.
This put the high command in a spot as the state leaders had initially only recommended Tejaswiniâ€™s name when they sent out a final list of aspirants.
Speaking to TNM, Tejaswi Surya said that he was not an aspirant and that he had strongly backed Tejaswini Ananth Kumarâ€™s candidature. â€śA week ago, I had also tweeted in her support. I was taken aback when I heard my name was being suggested,â€ť he added.
The BJP high command is expected to finalise a candidate soon as the last date for filing nomination from the segment is on March 26.