The Karnataka Congress has targeted BJP's youngest candidate from the state, Tejasvi Surya, following posts on Twitter accusing him of being a "womaniser", an "abuser" and a "woman-beater". Surya is a young lawyer who has worked closely with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and the Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP), and is the party's pick for Bangalore South.
Twitter handle of Karnataka Congress sent out a screengrab of tweets by businesswoman Som Dutta, who in her interactions with author Shefali Vaidya said:
Is @Tejasvi_Surya another MJ Akbar in the making?
— Karnataka Congress (@INCKarnataka) March 27, 2019
In a series of tweets, Dutta, who is a prominent businesswoman, said, "... I request you to not blindly promote Tejasvi without knowing his full truth. Do you actually want a womaniser, abuser, woman beater to lead us? Need proof? I will share. Not every Hindu is Dharmic and great speeches don't make a great man."
In another tweet, Dutta said, "... for over five years I have suffered at his hand till I decided to make it stop by taking up serious measures. My love was blind and trust me I am not his 1st victim or will be the last. Not every hindu is Dharmic in true sense."
However, she did not elaborate on what "serious measures" were taken. In a third tweet, Dutta said,"Karma gets to everyone my friend. I don't believe in public spats and defamation. Should the party not do their background checks before giving ticket? My parents have suffered too much coz (sic) of my choice can't let them suffer anymore."
Dutta's Twitter account is currently deactivated. After her tweets went viral and shared by the Karnataka Congress, Dutta deleted them and put up a tweet asking people to leave the issue alone, as they are both from good families and people will get hurt if the matter is dragged further. At this time, her Twitter profile appears to be inactive.
"Dear all, I request everyone to leave the Tejasvi and Me issue alone. It's my humble request. We both comes from very good families and lot of people will get hurt if we drag this further. We have moved on. I have deleted by tweets on my own as I realised it's not worth it."
Tejasvi has been named as the BJP candidate from Bangalore South Lok Sabha constituency, which was earlier held by senior BJP leader from Karnataka Ananth Kumar. It was decided that Kumar's wife Tejaswini will be fielded from the constituency.
Known for his hyperbole on social media and amplified cries of nationalism, the allegations of sexual abuse and assault will not make it easy for Tejasvi whose candidature has not gone down well with state BJP functionaries with some demanding an explanation before committing to any campaigning.
Tejaswini was the only candidate the state BJP had recommended to the party's central leadership, Deccan Herald reported. "It is shocking for all of them (party workers) and even to me. But I have been telling them and myself that now is the time we show we are a party with a difference and to show maturity," Tejaswini told Deccan Herald.
Tejasvi will contest against Congress' BK Hariprasad in Bangalore South. He is the nephew of BJP lawmaker Ravi Subramanya. If Tejasvi wins, he would be the youngest MP from the BJP camp. With a young face, the BJP could be hoping to secure youth support for the upcoming polls.
At the time of writing, neither the BJP nor its Bangalore South candidate had commented on the allegations.
Editor's Note: The headline of this piece has been amended to reflect the allegations made against Tejasvi Surya. His accuser has deactivated her account stating she does not wish to "drag this" further.
Updated Date: Mar 28, 2019 15:42:33 IST