In the only state in the south where the BJP is putting up a good show, the party has a shining young star who made a wave of his own, quite apart from the one Narendra Modi made in this election in the whole of India.
Just a couple of hours after counting began in the Bengaluru South Lok Sabha constituency, the question no longer was whether or not the 28-year-old fiery and articulate Hindutva leader Tejasvi Surya of the BJP would win, but by what margin. And as counting progressed, he had taken a lead of over 3.2 lakh votes (till 3.10 pm).
Another question still awaits an answer. What position will this belligerent Brahmin boy get in the Modi 2.0 government if he does get a reward for his stellar performance against senior Congress leader BK Hariprasad in the constituency?
The decision of the BJP central leadership to nominate Tejasvi, who works for a Bengaluru law firm, as candidate in the constituency, against the recommendation of state president BS Yeddyurappa, had been a big surprise. It had been presumed that the ticket would go to Tejaswini, wife of the late BJP leader HN Ananth Kumar, who had won the constituency six times in a row from 1996.
There were doubts whether Tejasvi could win not only because of his overzealous and controversial tweets in the past that questioned reservations for women and the patriotism of non-BJP parties but also because of his sheer lack of experience.
But what he lacked in experience, he more than made up with his loyalty to Modi and his devotion to what he believed in, even if it can be questioned by others.
The reason why Tejasvi seems set to win Bengaluru South is also the reason why Modi swept the election in the rest of India: the perceived strength of the prime minister’s leadership and the lack of it in the Opposition. It’s just that Tejasvi made the country’s leadership his main campaign theme.
Tejasvi made no secret of what he thought the 2019 election was all about. He repeated like a stuck record that this was just about re-election of Modi as the Prime Minister of India and nothing else, and that he was no more than his foot soldier. This was a big hit with voters.
If Tejasvi promised to improve Bengaluru’s pathetic civic conditions and become an effective voice of Karnataka in the Lok Sabha, it was all secondary to his main campaign surrounding Modi. His three-point campaign has been: Modi, Modi and Modi.
The author tweets as @sprasadindia
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Updated Date: May 23, 2019 15:47:29 IST