Rama Krishna Sangem
Prime Minister Narendra Modi is keen on winning for BJP at least 6 to 7 MPs and 25 -30 MLAs in Telangana. The PM and other top brass of BJP are not happy with the ground situation in Telangana which goes to assembly polls along with four more states – Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Mizoram – in December this year. He will be focusing more attention on Telangana in the next 100 days.
Sources in BJP told Excel India that the PM and Home Minister Amit Shah are not happy party position in Telangana as the local leaders are not able to put up a strong fight against CM KCR led BRS. “Our top leadership is worried that BJP slid to third spot leaving for Congress the main challenger space in Telangana,” said a BJP national executive member on Sunday.
Modi’s announcements on setting up a National Turmeric Board and a Tribal University named after deities Sammakka-Saralamma – for Telangana at Mahabubnagar meeting on October 1 are part of BJP’s sharp focus on the state. He will again address another rally at Nizamabad on October 3, where BJP has a sitting MP – Dharmapuri Aravind. With this, the PM has officially launched BJP’s election campaign in Telangana.
BJP wants to retain its four Lok Sabha seats Adilabad, Karimnagar, Nizamabad and Secunderabad, won in 2019, and get two to three more now – Mahabubnagar, Nalgonda, Malkajgiri, and if possible, Mahabubabad (ST). BJP’s performance in 2018 assembly polls in Telangana is pathetic – it won just one MLA – Goshamahal, but later added two more in by-polls – Dubbaka and Huzurabad.
BJP sounded upbeat after bagging 48 divisions out of 150 of Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation polls later, but suddenly lost its steam after losing in Munugode, where Congress MLA Komatireddy Rajagopal Reddy left his party and contested on BJP ticket. BJP further lost its energies after losing Karnataka assembly elections. Some of its recently joined leaders have left the party and joined Congress.
This has become unallowable to BJP leadership, which counted on coming to power in Telangana a year back. At one stage, BJP top leader Amit Shah told the state leaders to strive to defeat AIMIM’s Asaduddin Owaisi in Hyderabad LS seat. But, now Shah knows it is just impossible. Change of guard in BJP’s Telangana unit – replacing MP Bandi Sanjay with Union Minister Kishan Reddy too hasn’t yielded any dividends.
Turmeric Board impact
BJP central leadership has done some home work before announcing a turmeric board for Telangana. This has become a major issue for the party in retaining Nizamabad LS seat. MP Aravind won in 2019 promising this board to farmers of Nizamabad, which grows turmeric on a large scale. BRS leaders often ridiculed BJP MP for failing to get the promised turmeric board.
Now will the announcement bring votes to BJP? or it is too late to announce? These are the questions debated among political parties in Nizamabad district which accounts for a LS seat and nine MLAs. Similarly, the announcement of a national tribal university at Mulugu too is considered to be a move to win Mahabubad (ST) LS seat. BJP’s Adivasi wing is sure on winning this seat this time.
Modi’s OBC card & Women’s Act
Speaking at an election meeting in Bilaspur in Chhattisgarh two days ago, Modi flaunted his OBC status and alleged that Congress is not able to digest his rise in politics. “They (Congress) leaders are unable to accept me in the high post just because I am an OBC,” said he. This is an indication that he will be using his and BJP’s OBC plank in the coming elections.
BJP is also hoping to cash in on the just enacted Women Reservations Act-2023. Though this law will take four or five years to come into force, PM Modi will be using it for the elections advantage. “Don’t look at this law (Women Quota) as an immediate gain, it will transform the country’s politics forever, in coming decades,” said Modi. BJP is fully depending on PM Modi electioneering in the coming assembly and LS elections.