HN Ananthkumar’s widow loses out?

Sources said, Basavanagudi MLA Ravi Subramanya picked for Bengaluru South.

Bengaluru: Ending weeks of speculation, the BJP central leadership signalled that the front runner in their list of candidates for Bengaluru South, which was held by late Ananth Kumar could well be Ravi Subramanya, a sitting MLA from the Basavanagudi constituency and a protégé of the six time MP.

Though the party has all but finalized Subramanya's candidature the official announcement is still on hold, with high level sources in the party indicating that there maybe changes even at the eleventh hour with some sources insisting that the widow of Union Minister H.N. Ananthkumar, Tejaswini could still be nominated for Bengaluru south.

These sources said Tejaswini's candidature was on hold despite being cleared by party high command as it came under pressure friom the BS Yeddyurappa camp and RSS stalwarts who were pushing for lawyer and BJP member Tejaswi Surya, who is also the nephew of BJP MLA from Basavanagudi, Ravi Subramanya.

But in a day full of twists and turns before the party zeroed in on Mr Subramanya, the party central leadership finally ended the speculation that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would contest from Bengaluru South, while deliberations continued within the closed circle of the BJP-RSS top brass over who should be the candidate. Even though the state leadership had sent only one name, that of Tejaswini Ananth Kumar, the party central leadership was reportedly advised by the party's south Indian organizing secretary, B.L. Santhosh to get more names for the seat.

Santhosh's argument was that Bengaluru South was BJP's pocketborough with the BJP numbers surging only because of the Modi wave and not because of Ananth’s popularity which he deemed as “insignificant”.

Thereafter, the local leaders sent two more names of incumbent city MLAs, Suresh Kumar and Ravi Subramanya. However, both men reportedly expressed reluctance to enter national politics. The central leaders are said to have tried to persuade Mr Suresh Kumar who refused to budge. Even though Mr Subramanya too turned down the offer, the party centre leadership has reportedly insisted that he file his nomination papers on Tuesday. Mr Subramanya who is not a native Hindi speaker and is reportedly uncomfortable with Delhi politics may find the shoes of late Ananth Kumar too big to fill. Sources in the party said that if Mr Subramanya did win the seat, the Basavanagudi seat might be offered to Tejaswini Ananth Kumar.

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