Rahul Gandhi Won't Find Another Wayanad; South India Will Become BJP Fortress: Tejasvi Surya | News18 Inter – News18

Reported By: Rohini Swamy
Last Updated: February 29, 2024, 08:30 IST
Bengaluru, India
Bengaluru South BJP MP Tejasvi Surya. (File image: PTI)
The ruling Congress in Karnataka won three seats and the BJP one in the Rajya Sabha elections in the state on Tuesday. The polls were marred by cross-voting in a setback to the saffron party. However, the Karnataka BJP held a massive protest in Bengaluru’s Vidhana Soudha on Wednesday, accusing the Congress of being an “anti-national” party and claiming that a few followers of Rajya Sabha member Syed Naseer Hussain raised pro-Pakistan slogans after his victory on Tuesday. The Congress has refuted this, saying that the slogan raised by the workers was “Naseer Saab Zindabad”. Speaking to News18 against this backdrop, BJP’s Bengaluru South MP Tejasvi Surya reiterated his party’s allegations and also took a dig at Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for his “constituency hopping”.
Is the BJP upset with the results of the Rajya Sabha polls?
With respect to the cross-voting that took place, it was expected that a couple of them, especially the likes of Somashekar would do what they did. Some people come to politics with an ideological conviction, others do not. This is a part of the process. There are certain people for whom convenience is more important than convictions. When we do business with such people this is what comes out.
What upsets the BJP more is not the result of the Rajya Sabha election per se, but what happened pursuant to the declaration of the results. Congress party workers and a few supporters of Naseer Hussain began indulging in pro-Pakistan slogans. An FIR has been filed and we demand an unconditional apology from chief minister Siddaramaiah. Shouting pro-Pakistan slogans in celebration of a Rajya Sabha victory by the Congress is a new low for the Congress’s already low standards. People in Karnataka are watching and will teach the Congress a very costly lesson in the elections.
The Bengaluru police say that the video-audio showed the slogan as saying ‘Naseer Saab Zindabad’, while the chief minister has also said on the floor of the house that the Forensic Science Laboratory (FSL) is also analysing it. If found true, action will be taken. Will the BJP push further seeking action?
It is evident in the viral video, it is very clear what the slogans are. The Congress is trying to hush it up and there will be no surprises if they pressurise the local police to give a clean chit. The Congress’s DNA has always been one of appeasement, a DNA that is anti-India, the root cause of Partition has been the Congress. So it is not very surprising that anti-India or pro-Pakistan slogans have come at a Congress party event. It is not surprising, given the Congress’s tendencies.
How will the BJP re-energise itself after the results of the Rajya Sabha elections and also how the Congress won the Teachers’ constituency seat as well just before the Lok Sabha polls?
The Lok Sabha election is a very different ball game. In the Lok Sabha, the vote will be for Narendra Modi, for the BJP at the national level and the people’s vote will be for the next 25 years of rule in the country. The PM enjoys unblemished popularity in all parts of Karnataka, the state literally worships the PM. I can very confidently tell you that BJP will at least cross at least 25 seats in Karnataka.
Prime Minister Modi has set a target of 50 seats for the BJP in south India. What would be the mantra?
The mantra for the BJP whether in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh, or Madhya Pradesh, has been the hard work of the cadre and clear leadership and integrity of the leadership. No other secret sauce.
The hard work the BJP cadre has put in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh. There have been a lot of efforts put to re-energise the cadre in Karnataka, this is what will yield results. The PM has given transformational results and people feel it. People feel the difference and there is no need for advertisements to showcase it.
How have programmes like En Mann, En Makal and developmental projects launched in southern India helped the BJP down south?
En Mann, En Makkal Yatra has been a programme to take the message of the Prime Minister in a very localised way. Under Annamalai’s leadership in Tamil Nadu, the BJP has been re-energised. The development Tamil Nadu has seen under PM Modi will re-energise people, the same with Kerala and other southern states. The BJP will improve its vote share in Andhra Pradesh as well. This will turn into votes and seats for the BJP.
A statement was made by PM Modi about Rahul Gandhi’s ouster from Wayanad. He spoke of how the Congress and Left are enemies in Kerala but BFFs outside. Do you see Gandhi contesting from another seat as there is a pushback in Wayanad?
We have heard of visiting professors in colleges, Rahul Gandhi is a visiting MP. He was one in Amethi and is the same in Wayanad. People want MPs who are invested in their constituencies, who spend time and energy for the welfare of the people. When that is absent, you will see people like Rahul Gandhi hopping constituencies.
South India this time is going to turn into a fortress of the BJP, there will not be another Wayanad for Rahul Gandhi
How many seats will the BJP win in south India?
The BJP is going to get a historic high number of seats in the south.
Very diplomatic answer…
We are very clear that the people of the states in the southern part of the country are waiting to go to polls, to repose their faith in the Prime Minister again. You will see a historic mandate from the south of India this time.


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