PM Modi nearly picked Bangalore South

After rumour Rahul of moving to B’lore Rural, BJP got ready to field PM in adjacent seat.

Bengaluru: With the BJP announcing a second list of candidates for the upcoming polls on Saturday for Karnataka, naming Muniswamy S., a city corporator from Kadugodi as its candidate for the Kolar Lok Sabha seat, and backing actress Sumalatha for Mandya, but not announcing a candidate for the key constituency of Bangalore South that was represented for six consecutive terms by BJP stalwart Ananth Kumar, speculation continued to run high on Saturday that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would choose to stand from the IT capital.

The airport was on full alert on Saturday, sources told Deccan Chronicle as it readied for the possible arrival of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, as the BJP put its 'Counter-Rahul strategy' in place

Congress president Rahul Gandhi was reportedly eyeing Bengaluru Rural LS seat which is presently held by D.K. Suresh, a Congress leader as the party did not want their leader to face the ignominy of losing in Amethi, the Gandhi pocketborough.

Sources in the BJP told Deccan Chronicle that no sooner had the BJP top brass got a whiff of the Congress' plan, than the top leaders discussed and arrived at a view that it should be countered through the strategy of fielding Mr from Bengaluru South, a constituency adjacent to Bengaluru Rural.

In view of this development, Mr Modi had sent word that he would like to personally speak to Tejaswini Ananth Kumar, wife of the former MP whose name was recommended by the party here.

In addition, the central leaders had called the late Ananth Kumar's brother, Nanda Kumar and told him to continue doing the ground work without waiting for the announcement of the name as a prominent leader would contest from the seat.

Besides this, top aides were asked to get necessary e-stamp papers ready. There were reports that the PM might arrive at Kempe Gowda International Airport and from there, take a chopper to land in National College Grounds so that he could reach the returning officer’s office in time.

However by day’s end, with the Congress leadership almost finalizing the name of incumbent Congress MP D.K. Suresh from Bengaluru Rural and announcing that Mr Gandhi may contest instead from Wayanad in Kerala, the Prime Minister’s plan to contest from Bengaluru South was put on hold.

However, the party central leadership which was inclined to announce the candidature of Tejaswini Ananth Kumar from Bengaluru South hit another roadblock, with the BJP national leadership under pressure to replace Tejaswini Ananth Kumar and give the party ticket to a novice, Tejasvi Surya from Bangalore South Lok Sabha constituency.

Sources said that the party central leadership had kept in abeyance the decision despite the fact that corporators, MLAs from the constituencies falling within the Lok Sabha seat and state core committee had unanimously endorsed her candidature.

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