Bengaluru: When BJP bypassed Tejaswini Ananthkumar, wife of late union minister H.N. Ananthkumar, and granted the ticket for Bengaluru South to a young lawyer Tejasvi Surya there was a lot of hue and cry among Bengaluru city BJP supporters.
In fact when Tejasvi came to seek the blessings of Tejaswini, he was greeted with ‘go back Surya’ slogans. His Congress opponent B.K. Hariprasad had felt relieved that he was pitted against a lightweight candidate, instead of Tejaswini, who would have attracted sympathy vote. However, the results have upset Hariprasad’s calculation as Mr Surya won by a huge margin of 2.5 lakh votes.
Even BJP sources while speaking to this newspaper had earlier expressed surprise over announcement of Mr Surya as a candidate. However, they defended the choice as they felt that apart from Dakshina Kannada, Bengaluru South is one seat where BJP can carry out experiment, as it is a safe seat. As the party did not want to change the sitting candidate in Mangaluru, they had chosen Bengaluru South for the purpose.
And this experiment proved hugely successful. Sensing a strong Modi wave in Bengaluru South, BJP National Organising Joint Secretary Santhosh has prevailed upon the party's central leadership to grant ticket to Mr Surya, who practices in the Karnataka High Court.
Taking into consideration his aggressive oratory skills and his stout defence of party policies, BJP president Amit Shah picked him up for Bengaluru South.
Initially, Mr Surya faced dissent from party senior leaders and supporters of Ananthkumar. However, gradually his campaign picked up.
On sensing that party senior leaders were reluctant to accompany Mr Surya, Mr Shah himself did road show with him in Bengaluru, thereby sending a strong message to the party cadres and leaders about the decision of party leadership. Party sources said apart from the strong Modi wave, disciplined party cadres worked diligently for Mr Surya. He attracted a battery of young workers from BJP and RSS, who carried out door-to-door campaign for him.
More importantly, since the Vokkaliga voters in the city have been traditional BJP supporters for the past two decades, Mr Surya also attracted the support of Brahamin voters, who form a substantial chunk in the constituency....