“Chakra” is a significant meaning in Hindu tradition. The chakra in the Bharatiya Janata Party has been turning gradually over the last few days. We recently saw the quiet, dignified exit of the great Lal Krishna Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi from electoral politics. At the same time, Bengaluru, in particular, saw the birth of a new political star.
It is fraught with risk to call someone a star in the beginning of a career. However, Tejasvi Surya has earned his stripes, as he was officially named as the BJP candidate for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. An ABVP karyakarta, BJP Youth Secretary, TV panellist, public speaker and active social media voice – Tejasvi could end up being the youngest member in the new Lok Sabha at only 28 years.
For the common man and cadre, his candidature had a surprise value. The more predictable name was of Tejaswini Anantkumar, wife of another BJP stalwart, late Anantkumar. In fact, the Karnataka state party had proposed only her name to the BJP CEC. Nobody could point a finger at her candidature as she had worked for a long time to earn her worth and was known and liked by most of the South Bengaluru voters. She has been an old ABVP karyakarta herself and has been actively involved in RSS and BJP activities. Her graceful tweet after Tejasvi’s nomination reinforces that she has the right bearings.
It seemed awkward when BJP refused to name her in the first and second list of candidates for Karnataka. Speculations started that BJP was shooting itself in the foot by not respecting one of their own. In spite of all this, it was assumed that she will be blessed. In the meantime, rumours started gaining ground that PM Modi himself will be contesting in Bengaluru South constituency.
All this came to a head when Tejasvi Surya’s name was announced in the early morning hours of 26th March 2019. Considering only electoral strategy, it must be said that the BJP top brass has helped Tejasvi to launch his career with a bang. Firstly, Bengaluru South is a BJP fortress and he should be expected to win.
Secondly, by delaying the decision until the final day of nomination, BJP allowed Congress to play its cards first and then ensured a smooth launch for Tejasvi. This is because if his name was announced earlier, considering him to be a newbie, Congress could have fielded the more formidable Ramalinga Reddy in the seat. Thirdly, by floating Modi’s name for the seat, BJP ensured that opposition shouldn’t harbour any hopes from this seat even before the contest. Considering these points is a launch pad even star kids can dream of.
It is well known in the Karnataka BJP circles that Amit Shah values two voices from the local unit: B S Yeddyurappa and B L Santosh. The second name is not popular in the national circles, but he is one of Tejasvi’s mentors and it is rumoured that he pushed Tejasvi’s name. BJP also realises that the next generation leaders need not necessarily come from the rumble and tumble politics as in early days. As an example, Mysuru MP Pratap Simha was launched in 2014 under similar circumstances. BJP appreciated Tejasvi’s contribution in the social media circles and speaking circuit. This was considered to be a good enough preparation for him to take the leap.
As one of the erstwhile leading technology companies had coined the phrase “Many are blessed. Few are chosen.” In this case, Tejasvi is the chosen one from the technology city of India. The onus is now on him to prove that he is no flash in the pan and continue Anantkumar’s legacy.