Telangana BJP sees Old guards Vs New comers divide

Kishan Reddy

Rama Krishna Sangem

BJP in Telangana appears to be dragged down by an internal problem. The problem is the divide between the old guards and new comers. However, hard the top leadership – Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Amit Shah and other party functionaries – are trying to make BJP a force to reckon with in Telangana in the last few years, this internal bickering is damaging its prospects.

These old guards are those who rose in the party ranks through last several decades. They are from ABVP, RSS or other Sangh parivar organisations. The new comers are those who joined BJP in the last few years due to their differences with their parent parties. The new comers are mostly from BRS, Congress and also those from non=political background. As of now, the new comers account of a large section of BJP in Telangana.

Though the national leadership is welcoming the new comers, the local old guards are still not ready to accept them into the party fold wholeheartedly. We cannot say the differences are open and glaring. But, a sort of cold war type unfriendly atmosphere is there. BJP’s in charges like Tarun Chug, Sunil Bansal or Chandrasekhar are unable to resolve this problem in spite of their best efforts. Unwittingly though, they too are bogged down in these bickerings.


New comers bag more MP tickets

In the latest allotment of Lok Sabha tickets for 9 seats, new comers got a lion’s share of 6-  Etela Rajender (Malkajgiri), P Bharat (Nagar Kurnool -SC), BB Patil(Zaheerabad) Konda Visweshwar Reddy (Chevella), Madhavi Latha (Hyderabad) and Dr Boora Narsaiah Goud (Bhongir). Only three others are old guards – Kishan Reddy (Secunderaabd), Bandi Sanjay (Karimnagar) and  Arvind Dharmapuri (Nizamabad).

An old guard and BJP former national general secretary P Muralidhar Rao has strongly lobbied for Malkajgiri seat. He now holds the post of secretary assigned to Madhya Pradesh. Rao worked as co-convener of Swadesh Jagaran Manch too in late 1990s.  Supporters of Muralidhar Rao put huge flexis in Hyderabad city projecting him as the candidate for Malkajgiri seat.

But, the top brass of BJP decided in favour of Rajender fro the seat. Rajender, a former minister in BRS lost from both the assembly seats he contested in 2023 November – Gajwel against then CM KCR and his own Huzurabad. Still  Rajender insisted and got Malkajgiri LS seat, the largest in India with around 35 lakh voters. At a stage, Rajender’s supporters spread reports that he would even cross over to Congress, if denied BJP ticket in Malkajgiri.

Same is the case with BJP senior leader Bangaru Shruti. She is the daughter of late BJP president Bangaru Laxman. Shruti wanted ticket from Nagar Kurnool (SC). But, this seat went to P Bharat, son of sitting BRS MP Ramulu. Shruti disappointed over the allotment met Congress CM Revanth Reddy later, to mark her protest and threaten BJP. Her meeting the CM shocked the traditional BJP cadre.

Another case is fielding of Madhavi Latha from Hyderabad. Here, the old guard Bhagawant Rao, who lost here in the past, tried hard to get the ticket again. But, the party national leadership preferred  Madhavi, a social media celebrity. Interestingly, she joined BJP only after getting Hyderabad ticket. Normally, this is unimaginable in BJP culture. BB Patil getting ticket a day after he joined BJP too hurt some party old guards in Zaheerabad.


Why Bandi Sanjay was replaced?

Bandi Sanjay, sitting MP from Karimnagar and now national general secretary is still sulking for being removed as  BJP’s Telangana president last year. Sanjay, who belongs to OBC caste of Munnuru Kapu, brought some josh into the party after took over the post. But, suddenly he was replaced with Kishan Reddy, union minister. In fact, Kishan Reddy was not interested in the post of BJP Telangana president.

Sanjay’s camp suspects that some new comers including Rajender and Komatireddy Rajagopal Reddy (Reddy later left BJP and now Congress MLA from Munugode) have lobbied against him. Rajender was believed to told BJP national leaders that Sanjay’s attitude was an obstacle in attracting new comers into party. Besides, some of Sanjay’s statements hurting sentiments of Muslim minorities too have led to his ousting from the state unit presidency.

Of course, the fight between the old guards and the new comers is not open. Leaders of these two camps talk to each other normally and exchange pleasantries when they meet. But, there is no wholehearted friendliness. They plot against each other, behind. Whether this will spoil the prospects of BJP’s winning chances is not clear, but certainly this situation will demoralize the cadre.

BJP is still to announce candidates for 8 more seats in Telangana. In these seats too, there are tussles between the old timers and new comers. Seniors at the state level are promoting their own nominees. Top leaders Kishan Reddy and BJP  parliamentary board member and Rajya Sabha MP Dr K Laxman will have to do some extra work to patch up differences between the two camps.


Rama Krishna Sangem

Ramakrishna chief editor of excel India online magazine and website

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