Tag: BJP candidate

The curious case of NOTA campaign against Tejasvi Surya

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Tejasvi Surya and NOTA poster (Image credit: Rediff and Twitter)

The Bengaluru South parliamentary constituency had made it to national headlines last month when the BJP chose the 28-year-old Tejasvi Surya over Tejaswini Ananth Kumar, the widow of former Union minister Ananth Kumar.  Now Tejaswini has filed a police complaint over a NOTA campaign in her name, urging to vote for NOTA in high numbers for replacing her with Tejasvi.

The poster (shown in the image above) has been making rounds on WhatsApp and social media.

“Vote NOTA in Bengaluru South to support Tejaswini Ananth Kumar” the header says. Then an appeal is made to the party workers: “We all karyakartas know that Tejaswini Ananth Kumar was the most deserving candidate to become the member of Parliament from Bengaluru South. Due to the games played by the other members of the BJP she has missed the ticket and an immature, arrogant boy has taken her place. Let us vote for NOTA in high numbers to show the high command that we are all with Tejaswini Ananth Kumar Ji”.

Tejaswini on Monday termed the campaign “unfounded and malicious” in her tweet. She also told the media that she has filed a police complaint and requested the cyber crime division to take strict actions against the offenders.

The choice of state leadership to represent the seat, which her husband had been holding since 1996, Tejaswini had even begun her campaign when the last minute announcement on Tejasvi was made on March 26. Since then, she has reconciled with the party’s decision and announced her resolve to work to help Narendra Modi return to power. She has been also made Vice President of Karnataka BJP. She even appeared on stage to greet Modi in a campaign rally in Bangalore on April 13.

Incidentally Bengaluru South is considered as a BJP bastion where newbie Tejasvi Surya of the party is pitted against Congress veteran BK Hari Prasad. Despite internal differences over Tejasvi’s candidacy in the BJP, he is expected to win the seat at the end. However, the Congress has been already in the fore front of a character assassination campaign against him based on Twitter statements by a business woman.

Now there can be no prize for guessing who is behind this mischievous NOTA campaign.

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Karnataka BJP leaders hurt over Tejasvi Surya’s candidacy?

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Tejaswini Ananth Kumar and Tejasvi Surya (Image credit: The Hindu and NDTV)

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.