The Karnataka unit of the BJP has appointed Tejaswini Ananth Kuamr as Vice President of the state unit. In an effort to get her on board with the party ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, BS Yeddyurappa, state BJP president, made the announcement on Twitter just hours before BJP national president Amit Shah’s flash visit to Bengaluru.
Amit Shah is scheduled to lead a road show in support of Tejasvi Surya, BJP candidate for Bangalore South Lok Sabha constituency, later in the evening. Tejaswi was picked over Tejaswini, widow of Ananth Kumar, who had held the seat since 1996, until his death in November 2018.
Giving to seat to the 28-year-old Tejaswi, when the state leaders unanimous pick was Tejaswini had created a lot of heart burns among some BJP leaders, as well as party workers. A few senior leaders minced no words to express their displeasure. “If it can happen to the widow of Ananth Kumar, who had contributed hugely to the development of the party and nation, what would happen to our families?” a leader had asked.
Tejaswini too had said that the announcement of Tejaswi’s candidacy was shocking. But she reiterated her support to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and called upon her loyalists to work for his win again.
Tejasvi Surya congratulated Tejaswini Ananth Kumar on her appointment as Vice President of BJP’s state unit in a tweet.
Congratulations to @Tej_AnanthKumar ma'am on being appointed Vice President of BJP Karnataka. Her experience, organisational skills and good heartedness will add great value to party.
I am sure she will mentor many more young leaders in the days to come.
There seems to be no let up in rumblings against BJP’s central leadership’s decision to pick Tejasvi Surya over Tejaswini Ananth Kumar, as the party candidate to fight the Bangalore South parliamentary seat. A few senior BJP leaders on Wednesday came out in the open to criticise the decision and demanded explanation from the top leadership.
Take a closer look at who are these rebel voices and what are they saying to understand why are they advocating so much in favour of Tejaswini Ananth Kumar.
According to New Indian Express, eight-time MLA from Hukkeri Umesh Katti has said that “it is unfair of the party to have denied Tejaswini the ticket”. His brother and former MP Ramesh Katti has questioned as to how the party could ignore her, who would be a fit candidate to represent South Banglore. Thanks to her late husband Ananth Kumar’s contribution to the constituency, she “would have easily romped home,” he argued.
Another senior leader and MLA V Somanna has expressed his anger against dropping Tejaswini Ananth Kumar “unceremoniously”. “Tejasvi’s uncle Ravi Subramanya is Basavanagudi MLA. The party bosses said they will not encourage family politics. How could they give him ticket?” was his question.
“She had opened a party office and started campaigning. At least respect the legacy of former minister Ananth Kumar,” Somanna is reported as saying. “How do we know this will not happen to others. Is there any accountability?”
Incidentally, these two leaders have personal reasons to be angry against BJP top brass. The party is reluctant to name Ramesh Katti as candidate for Chikkodi Lok Sabah seat. And Somanna’s son Arun Somanna was denied ticket from Arsikere assembly constituency last year.
It appears there is an ideological clash between BJP’s Karnataka state leadership and the central leadership over the politics of dynasty. Otherwise, the state leadership wouldn’t have encouraged Tejaswini Ananth Kuamr to set up a party office and begin campaigning much before the announcement of candidates’ lists.