Rama Krishna Sangem
Why BJP is abnormally delaying its first list of candidates for Telangana assembly elections? This is the question upper most in the minds of not just the party cadre but across political circles. Earlier it was told to the media that BJP will come up with its first list by October 18. But, its Central election committee (CEC) met in Delhi on October 20 and almost cleared 65 names.
Later in the night, the party’s parliamentary board led by PM Narendra Modi met and debated the list and was supposed to announce to media by late in the night. Now the information is that the first list might by released by Saturday evening. But, a senior leader who is part of the BJP CEC told me that the list is still not finalised and that it would take a few more hours – may be a day or two to be cleared.
Now the latest is that the first list of BJP will be out by October 21, Saturday evening. So, the next list will have to wait till after Dasara festival or even much later. Reasons for this much of delay in the BJP list is causing concern among its own cadre and second level leaders, while the top leaders are tight-lipped on it. “Announcing our list very late is part of our strategy. We wanted it to be this way,” said BJP state president G Kishan Reddy a few days ao.
Dearth of enough candidates
A factor behind this strategy is said to be lack of enough credible candidates on it s own. BJP at present has about 20-25 candidates who can put up some decent fight in their own assembly seats. A list with the names of around 30 leaders has been doing rounds for the last two weeks, though it is unofficial. Names of Kishan Reddy, Komatireddy Rajgopal Reddy, Et4ela Rajender, Bandi Sanjay, Raghunandan Rao, Vivek, Yoganand and DK Aruna are there
Of course, they all will get tickets. Besides some more sure shots like Achari from Kalwakurthy too are in the list. There is some confusion over re-entry of Goshamahal MLA Raja Singh who is suspended from the party for making anti-Islam comments two years ago continues. Some pressure from the head of UAE is said to be a reason for doubts over his entry into BJP. Only PM Modi will have to take a call on Raja Singh.
BJP primarily banking on those who are denied tickets in Congress for its further lists. This shows inherent weakness in BJP. Though the party won two assembly by-polls – Dubbaka and Huzurabad and won 48 divisions in Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation, the party failed to consolidate its gains at the ground level. The party always knew that it has no credible candidates in not more than 30 seats.
Still they haven’t made any efforts to identify the candidates in the remaining seats. For example, in Jangoan, BJP banked on either former MLA Kommuru Pratap Reddy or sitting MLA Muttireddy Yadagiri Reddy. Interestingly, Pratap Reddy got Congress ticket, while Yadagiri Reddy stayed on with BRS, though the ticket went to Palla Rajeswar Reddy. Another former MLA Ponnala Laxmaiah joined BRS.
So is the case with many other seats in other districts. Some BJP leaders complained to their high command that Bandi Sanjay was the reason for not many other party leaders not showing interest in joining them. But, even after Kishan Re ddy was made the state unit president there is not much change. BJP in Telangana is not in a position to attract many other party leaders. That’s really intriguing one and all.