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Ananth Kumar built BJP in Karnataka, can’t even think of quitting party: Tejaswini Ananth Kumar

Tejaswini said she will soon meet party leaders in Delhi to understand why her name was dropped at the last minute.

, ET Bureau|
Mar 27, 2019, 08.21 AM IST
I am with the BJP and will continue with my contribution for the party, said Tejaswini Kumar.
Tejaswini Ananth Kumar reacted calmly to the BJP’s decision not to field her from her late husband Union minister Ananth Kumar’s constituency Bengaluru South, telling KR Balasubramanyam in an interview that she couldn’t even think of quitting the party built in Karnataka by her late husband. The chairperson at Adamya Chetana Foundation said she will soon meet party leaders in Delhi to understand why her name was dropped at the last minute. Excerpts:

What made you enter politics?
After my husband’s untimely death in November (2018), I was in two minds whether to enter politics or not. When I was battling this confusion, BJP elders forced me to take the plunge since I was already active in public life through Adamya Chetana work. I accepted their advice and entered politics.

How did you land in the present situation?
I have no clue why my name was dropped at the last moment. I am not disappointed that the party has not considered me for the seat; I am hurt because no one bothered to inform me. Instead, they kept me guessing as I went about campaigning for votes in Bengaluru South. What was purely an internal issue of the party on its choice of candidate for Bengaluru South has now become a subject of public discussion. As it is I am in pain after the death of Ananth Kumar and trying to overcome it. Now this embarrassment has also been heaped upon me. I would have withdrawn much earlier if I had been told that I was not being considered.

When reports emerged that the BJP may not give you a ticket, did you plan to contest as an independent?
That thought never crossed my mind. The BJP was built in Karnataka by Ananth Kumar, among others. How can I ever think of walking away from this party? Even if Ananth Kumar were around and denied ticket this time, he would not have contested as independent. He always said nation first, party next and self last.

What will you do now?
I will visit Delhi soon, meet leaders and find out reasons why they dropped my name at the last moment. I am keen to understand whether they received any wrong inputs about me from the party leaders in Karnataka. I wish to clarify: I nurse no grudge against anyone. The party may have its own reasons, but I wish to know them.

What are your plans?
I have been associated with Adamya Chetana for 22 years now and engaged in preparing and providing tens of thousands of hot school meals every day. We have also been planting trees every Sunday. I will continue to be active in public life.

Will you campaign for the BJP?
I have been invited for campaigning by some candidates in other constituencies, and I will campaign for them. In Bengaluru too, I will seek votes for party candidates if invited by them.

I am with the BJP and will continue with my contribution for the party.

I never aspired for any post in the party.

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