Bangalore South parliamentary constituency in Karnataka has been the bastion of the BJP since 1991. When the sitting MP (and Union minister) Ananth Kumar passed away in November last year, it appeared his widow and social worker Tejaswini Ananth Kumar would step into his big shoes by default.
Three strong reasons supported this view: Benefit from the sympathy factor generated by the death of the popular leader; it a norm to field a family member of the deceased neta in Indian legacy politics; and Tejaswini herself is an accomplished public figure.
The NGO, Adamya Chetana, which is managed by Tejaswini, is engaged in some path-breaking public service. It helps reach mid-day meals to over two lakh underprivileged school kids. Its Green Bengaluru initiative for eco balance seeks to increase “tree to person” ratio in Bangalore from 7:1 to 1:1.
Tejaswini gets hundreds of volunteers to plant saplings across the city every weekend. She has also set up a plate bank lending stainless steel plates and tumblers for big and small events to help avoid the use of plastic.
Thus knowing Tejaswini’s zeal for public service, her expressing willingness to contest the Bangalore South seat came as no surprise. And few may have expected she would not be given nod by the higher ups in the BJP.
And she began her poll campaign in earnest well before the BJP started rolling out the lists of candidates. And photos of her campaign started flooding her Twitter wall much before the announcement of the first list of BJP candidates on March 22. (See image)
Tejaswini was putting out the photos of her meeting with BJP leaders and functionaries, while hundreds of her foot soldiers were conducting door-to-door campaign distributing pamphlets and requesting for vote. Although her name kept missing mysteriously in the subsequent lists, which were released from time to time, there was no let up in her efforts to reach out to more and more people.
But, then, signs of restlessness may have started creeping in the minds of Tejaswini’s followers as a low key campaign in favour of her candidacy began building up on social media. A Newsminute article even said, quoting BJP insiders, that a senior RSS man wanted the seat for himself, hence the delay. And then other names, mainly of BJP MLAs from Bengaluru, made rounds, along with the name of BJP Yuva Morcha’s general secretary, Tejasvi Surya.
Finally, it is Tejasvi Surya to whom the BJP brass allotted the ticket to fight for the Bangalore South seat. The young lawyer with his great oratory skills and experience in politics no doubts looks more than promising to fill the big shoes left by Ananth Kumar.
But matter could have been handled better to save Tejaswini Ananth Kumar from disappointment and embarrassment. Who in the BJP promised her a sure ticket and prompted her mount a poll campaign prematurely? It would be interesting to know.