In a big win for youth in politics, the BJP has fielded 28-year-old Tejasvi Surya from the prestigious Bengaluru South Lok Sabha seat, a seat that was widely expected to go to Tejaswini Ananthkumar, the widow of Union minister Ananthkumar who passed away in November last year.
At 28, Tejasvi is set to be one of the youngest MPs to join the Parliament, should he win. Displaying his youth and millennial connect, Tejasvi took to Twitter after his name was announced on midnight this Monday. And in characteristic millennial style, he tweeted, "OMG OMG!!! I can't believe this".
The lawyer and vice-president of the state BJP Yuva Morcha, Tejasvi wrote that the Prime Minister of the "world's largest democracy" and President of "largest political party" have reposed their faith in a 28-year-old "guy" to represent them in a constituency as prestigious as Bengaluru South. "This can happen only in my BJP. Only in #NewIndia of @narendramodi", he tweeted.
OMG OMG!!! I can't believe this.
PM of world's largest democracy & President of largest political party have reposed faith in a 28 yr old guy to represent them in a constituency as prestigious as B'lore South. This can happen only in my BJP. Only in #NewIndia of @narendramodi— Chowkidar Tejasvi Surya (@Tejasvi_Surya) March 25, 2019
The young lawyer, who has been an outspoken proponent of the Hindutva, said that he was humbled and overwhelmed at being chosen forthe candidacy and promised to "work cesasellesly for our motherland".
"My hands are trembling as I type this. Last year, I had opportunity to talk to our Hon'ble President @AmitShah Ji. The one hour conversation with him left me so motivated that I couldn't sleep for a week. His determination, conviction to ideology is infectious. Thank you!" Tejassi wrote in another post.
His youthful candor was loved by netizens young and old.
Much deserved! You are one of the inspirations and motivations for the youth of India, to build a new India/Bharat for the benefit of all.— Dr David Frawley (@davidfrawleyved) March 26, 2019
Bravo! BJP’s youngest leader :) Just Brilliant!— Chowkidar Amrita Bhinder (@amritabhinder) March 26, 2019
Much deserved. Proud of you buddy. Now go steamroller them— Abhijit Iyer-Mitra (@Iyervval) March 26, 2019
Support actual young leaders— Sheetal Mishra (@itssitu) March 26, 2019
This nomination will work as inspiration for many youngsters.
I wish you all the best for thumping victory ... congratulations Tejasvi— Chowkidar Prajwal Busta (@PrajwalBusta) March 26, 2019
However, not all were impressed by the candid response.
Congratulations @Tejasvi_Surya.Nice to see young people like you in politics. But why this cliched Miss World sort of OMG expression.
Why are you shy to disclose your political dynasty that you are the
nephew of 3 time BJP MLA Ravi Subramanya who introduced you to politics? https://t.co/lZpGJVByMR— Deepal.Trivedi (@DeepalTrevedie) March 26, 2019
The candidature of Tejasvi came as a shock to many. Before the announcement, Tejaswini Ananthkumar, who enjoys massive popularity in her constituency due to her NGO, was expected to be fielded by the party. The minister had won six straight terms from Bengaluru South between 1996 and 2014.
The The Karnataka BJP unit had also recommended only one name to the party high command — that of Tejaswini. Even state BJP chief BS Yeddyurappa had full backed her. However, her sure-shot candidacy was challenged in the past week when local party leaders started discussing the possibility of Prime Minister Narendra Modi contesting from there, thus increasing the curiosity and tension in some camps.
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.
However, Tejasvi is not India's youngest MP. In 2014, great-grandson of former PM Devi Lal, and grandson and son of jailed leaders Om Prakash Chautala and Ajay Chautala, Dushyant Chautala of Indian National Lok Dal became the youngest person to become an MP in India. Now 30, Chautala was just 26-years-old when he won the prestigious seat from Hisar after defeating sitting MP Kuldeep Singh Bishnoi, of Haryana Janhit Congress.