Upper house

Tejasvi Surya’s U-turn came after management’s rap, growing unease over his remarks

LS Tejasvi Surya, BJP youth wing leader and South Bangalore MP, may have used community rhetoric to build his political career so far, but there is now growing unease among party leaders in the about some of his controversial remarks, sources said.

This was reflected in the directive from national leaders asking the 31-year-old to withdraw his recent remarks calling on Hindus to “dream big” and convert back to Hinduism all those who had converted to Islam. and Christianity, including Pakistanis, and saying mutts and temples should be given annual goals to achieve this. Two days later, he withdrew his remarks, claiming that they had “unfortunately created an avoidable controversy”.

While the withdrawal of his remarks was seen against the backdrop of the upcoming elections in Goa, where the BJP is banking on Hindu-Christian consolidation as it attempts to return to power, BJP sources said the party’s directive , quick in relation to his reactions to his earlier inflammatory comments, this is because the leadership of the BJP and the RSS did not greet them with kindness.

“He was asked to immediately withdraw his statement after a number of BJP and RSS leaders objected strongly,” a party source said in New Delhi.

“The directive asking him to step down came from senior management… It doesn’t matter who gave it to him. But the message was clear and unequivocal, ”said a national office official.

According to sources, even the Sangh rulers of Karnataka were “worried” about how Surya tried to position himself as the “spokesperson” for the Hindus. “Even the veterans were like, ‘Should Mohan Bhagwat give such a call?'” Said a party source.

Although Surya has in the past escaped many of his joint statements, the last one he made during a program organized at Sri Krishna Mutt in Udupi was not taken kindly.

“On the one hand, it contradicts Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s message that the party wants to defend in the southern region – that our party defends sabka saath, sabka vikas, sabka prieas. Second, he did so to Sri Pejawar Mutt of Vishwaprasanna Theertha Swamiji, who was posthumously awarded the Padma Vibhushan Prize. Although Swamiji represents the Hindu religion, this mutt is famous for its inclusive nature. There is a feeling among the state’s BJP leaders that the mutt has also expressed his displeasure about Surya using his platform to voice these views, ”said a party leader.

Asked about Surya’s comments, BJP National Secretary General CT Ravi told The Indian Express: “I have no comment. Surya is our party leader and when there is such a problem, I prefer to speak to her directly, not to the media. “

According to sources in the Karnataka BJP, Surya, who is widely perceived to be close to the National Secretary General (Organization) of the BJP BL Santosh, has rubbed several heads of state with his style of operation. “He behaves as if he doesn’t have to worry about heads of state,” said a leader of the BJP in Karnataka.

Another senior party leader pointed out that Surya, who is seen as a Hindutva standard bearer, identifies with party leaders from the coastal Kanataka region where community division runs deep. “This is an area where anti-minority rhetoric, especially anti-Muslim rhetoric, is gaining momentum. It is also the product of this ecosystem. When you get political patronage to support such statements, you tend to get carried away. Moreover, Tejasvi Surya has never been a man of action on the ground, he has always drawn his strength from social networks. His strong suit is media and how to create headlines. As long as it helps the party win the elections, it will be tolerated, but you cannot feed criticism unnecessarily, ”said a national leader who is familiar with the workings of the Karnataka BJP.

Despite being seen as the articulate and tech-savvy face of the party, Surya has yet to make her mark in the Lok Sabha in the past two and a half years. In fact, he was one of nine BJP MPs absent from the House after his star-studded question was entered on December 20 – an absence that was noticed after Prime Minister Modi’s call for party MPs to be regularly bedroom.

Surya’s statement was seen against the backdrop of recent developments in Karnataka, where the ruling BJP tried unsuccessfully to pass a controversial anti-conversion bill. As the lower house of the assembly passed the bill, the party decided not to table it in the Legislative Council due to the lack of a clear majority in the upper house.