Bengaluru: Till about 12.30 am on Tuesday morning, 28-year old Tejasvi Surya.L.S was one of the hundreds of members of the expansive social media team of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). But as fortune—and a fair bit of pressure from the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (the ideological parent of the BJP) would have it, Surya was named as the candidate to carry forward the legacy of BJP’s Ananth Kumar from Bengaluru South.
His candidature pipping that of Tejaswini Ananth Kumar as well as at least two serving legislators and several other senior aspirants in the party stronghold that, to say the least, has ruffled enough feathers in the seat.
A qualified legal professional from Bangalore Institute of Legal Studies, Surya who comes from the Brahmin joint family, soon identified with the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) before moving into the Yuva morcha or youth wing of the BJP.
“After the Jan Chetana Yatra is when he started to make inroads into the party," a close aide and BJP party worker said, requesting not to be identified. According to Surya’s Twitter post, he had pestered Tejaswini Ananth Kumar to send him to the Yatra led by BJP’s L.K.Advani in 2011.
Surya could not be reached for comment.
Surya’s candidature is in line with the BJP’s plan to infuse young blood into its ranks and into important positions even though the party’s senior leadership remain beyond the ambit of this assurance.
Surya who is originally from Chikmagalur district is the nephew of Basavanagudi legislator L. A. Ravisubramanya.
Surya is also known for his strong views on nationalism often questioning, throwing around the patriotic test to those who question the views of Prime Minister Narendra Modi or the BJP.
However, many of his close aides and others who work with him do not consider him a grounded person. Some even going far enough to call him a “Brahminical bigot".
But few question the young leaders ability to network. “He knows how to network and in no time he will be close to people he just met," said another person, familiar with Surya.
But the young leader will have his job cut out as he would have to battle dissent from within his own party as well as the possibility of the consolidation of Vokkaliga votes behind B.K.Hariprasad of the Congress.
The anger within the BJP could make this a more difficult affair than expected. The Congress won this seat last in 1989. Ananth Kumar was first elected from Bengaluru South in 1996 and held the seat till his death last year.