Amit Shah boost to Tejasvi Surya

BJP national president Amit Shah, who will be visiting the State for the first time on Tuesday since elections were declared, has specifically chosen Bengaluru South Lok Sabha constituency — where the pick of candidate has caused some heartburn — to launch his campaign. He will hold a bike rally in Banashankari and address the public.

The choice of place is aimed at signalling the party workers to fall in line with the high command’s choice of the candidate, sources said. This constituency saw 28-year-old Tejasvi Surya picked over Tejaswini Ananth Kumar, wife of the late Union Minister Ananth Kumar.

Mr. Shah had a pre-scheduled programme in Chennai on Tuesday. He is making a special stopover in the evening in Bengaluru. He will campaign for Mr. Surya and fly to Delhi the same night, with the stopover dedicated to Bengaluru South. This not only shows how significant the seat is for the party, but also demonstrates the influence B.L. Santosh, National Joint General Secretary (Organisation) — said to be the key leader who swung the BJP’s decision in favour of Mr. Surya — has over the high command, say party sources.

The visit seems to have already had an effect. All five BJP MLAs and BBMP councillors from the party in the constituency held a marathon meeting on Monday where “differences were ironed out and responsibilities assigned”, an associate of Mr. Surya said. “There was some confusion. But with Mr. Shah specially endorsing Mr. Surya, everyone has fallen in line,” he said.

The State unit had unanimously recommended the name of Tejaswini Ananth Kumar for the seat. But the high command, in a surprise move, chose Mr. Surya. Several leaders including State BJP president B.S. Yeddyurappa, and V Somanna, local MLA, had expressed dismay at the decision. Ms. Ananth Kumar had also said she was yet to decide whether to campaign or not. Interestingly, Mr. Shah is not expected to call on her during his visit.

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Printable version | Oct 20, 2021 4:37:57 PM |

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