14 May, 2021

Powersoft Man

Tyro Nilekani takes on a BJP veteran

Powersoft Man

Nandan Nilekani, who helped create the Infosys brand, has moved out of his comfort zone to fight an electoral battle. On paper, he’s a greenhorn, fighting on behalf of the Congress, the veteran Ananth Kumar, national general-secretary of the BJP in the Bangalore South constituency. But in a way, he’s taking on brand Modi. This is something acknowledged even in the BJP. Says a senior BJP leader, “It’s Modi who is fighting Nilekani. Ananth Kumar’s power comes from Modi, whose nomination as prime ministerial nominee he had opposed, being close to Advaniji.” Another leader puts it thus: “It’s funny when you think of it. Ananth Kumar is fighting his five-term anti-inc­umbency with help from Modi.”

This is not lost on Nilekani. As he formally launched his campaign, he said, “It speaks volumes about the achievements of an MP elected for five terms when he takes shelter under Modi.” The comment reflects, to a certain extent, the anti-incumbency that BJP MPs from Karnataka—18 in all, the most from any...

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