BJP plays BC card, hopes for hung assembly in Telangana

Kishan Reddy

Rama Krishna Sangem

BJP has come up with a political weapon of promising a BC Chief Minister, if it comes to power in Telangana. But, the party’s apparent strategies point to a possible hung assembly. Union Home Minister Amit Shah at a meeting in Suryapet on October 27 announced that BJP would make a BC the next CM of Telangana, if they get a majority in the November 30 assembly elections.

Party’s Telangana president and union minister G Kishan Reddy on October 29, Sunday claimed that they were getting huge response from people for its BC CM plank. Though the party hasn’t revealed any names for BC CM post, at least three leaders are in the race –  BJP OBC Moarcha president and Rajya Sabha MP Dr K Lakshman, Karimnagar MP Bandi Sanjay and former minister Etela Rajender. 

There is another MP from BC category – Arvind Dharmapuri, but he is junior to all the three, both in terms of stature and seniority in the party. But, to make a Backward Classes (BC) person as CM, BJP should get at least 60 MLAs on its own or should be in a position to influence the future coalition government in which it would be a part. For that, the party should get not less than 20 MLAs.

These two scenarios are unlikely going by the political situation at the moment (as of October 30). The party so far has  announced candidates for only 53 seats out of the total 119. If its first list carried 52 seats, the second list had only one candidate Mithun Kumar Redddy, for Mahabubnagar seat. The party’s talks with Jana Sena on seat sharing appear either non-starter or inconclusive. It’s third list is unlikely in the next couple of days.


BJP hopes a hung assembly

is expecting a hung assembly in Telangana, so that it can play a role in the next government. But, will it happen? The saffron party’s hopes are based on a possible decline in the ruling BRS seats tally and a slight surge in opposition Congress’  numbers. At the same time, BJP hopes to get not less than 20 -22 seats out of 119 in the House. In a way, the party has scaled down its earlier hopes of winning more than 35 seats. 

However, a quick look at the present situation, when the complete lists of BJP and Congress are yet to come, indicates that all the three assumptions may not happen. People of Telangana, like earlier Andhra Pradesh, always prefer a government with full majority. Not throwing up a hung assembly. The voters here chose a party or a candidate who can help form a government with full majority in the assembly. 

Exit of seniors like former MP Komatireddy Rajagopal Reddy from the party joining Congerss has come as a blow to BJP. The talk of others like former MP G Vivek Venkataswamy joining Congress too is causing alarm to the saffron brigade. Though BJP wants to go with Jana Sena of Pawan Kalyan, the latter has marginal presence in Telangana. By staying away from contest, TDP may help Congress, but not BJP. 

Now  BJP leaders are talking of playing a major role in the next government in Telangana – kingmakers if not kings. For that, the party should get at least 15-20 seats and ruling BRS should fall short of simple majority. As anyway, BJP won’t go with Congress, the only  option for them is to join hands with BRS. But, BRS has already has an outside ally, AIMIM, so why will they take the help of BJP? Unless the gap is so huge!

This is nothing but hoping against hope for BJP in Telangana.


Rama Krishna Sangem

Ramakrishna chief editor of excel India online magazine and website

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