No forceful thrust in AP, TS: BJP’s prime motto slows it down

No forceful thrust in AP, TS: BJP’s prime motto slows it down

BJP seems to have veered round to the view that it is better to let the Telangana and the Andhra ruling parties stay in power, as it is unable to take on both, in order to keep the Congress from coming to power at the Centre. While it wants Congress humbled in Telangana, it is queering pitch for TDP in Andhra Pradesh. Thus, in both states, its main aim appears to be “Centre bachao, aur Telangana, Andhra BRS, YSRCP ko de do”

The BJP seems to have deliberately messed up its chances in the two Telugu states. What is seen as a strategic move on its part has virtually killed the party in both the states as its main aim appears to be, “Centre bachao, aur Telangana, Andhra BRS, YSRCP ko de do.”

In Telangana, after the stellar performance in GHMC elections, the saffron party rank and file was in upbeat mood. But still it could not build the movement and put party machine in fast forward mode. But ever since Bandi Sanjay was made the Telangana president, things started looking up and an impression was created that BJP was emerging as a real completion to the ruling BRS. But, the BJP which is supposed to be a cadre-based party, wedded to ideology, committed the mistake of opening doors for all and sundry. Lo and behold! Congress culture has crept into it, leading to serious internal dissension.

People like Komatireddy Rajagopal Reddy and Eatala Rajender who have an axe to grind against the Chief Minister, K Chandrashekar Rao, bombarded (typical Congress-style culture) the BJP high command. They descended on Delhi, met Union Minister for Home Amit Shah and allegedly insisted that the Centre arrest KCR’s daughter Kavitha in the Delhi liquor scam if BJP must progress in the state. But BJP which talks of rooting out corruption was said to have backtracked, revealing its dual policy when dealing with political rivals. In the case of AAP leaders, arrests were at jet speed. The same refrain was aped by the AP government which acted real fast in arresting Naidu. Just as AAP leaders are not able to get bail, Naidu is struggling to come out on bail. What a way Sir ji to root out corruption?

But then that is not the style of BJP. They don’t succumb to any pressures from state netas, especially those hailing from the opposition. They go by what they feel is need-based tactics to achieve the larger objective of retaining power even if it means treading a difficult or different path.

Another interesting character of BJP is those who have risen from the RSS cadre are so disciplined that they may keep cribbing within their groups but will not go against the party line. However, the lateral entrants could not digest this hardened attitude of the BJP leadership and Rajagopal Reddy made a U-turn and went back to his parent organisation Congress party. In the process, he lost his importance. However, Eatala has no option but to continue in BJP. Well, amidst this scenario, the BJP has acquired the image of having joined hands with the BRS in order to stop Congress in its tracks. Well, there could be another reason for this. The BJP on its own cannot win in many places. According to present indications, it will not cross single digit in the Assembly elections.

The party may not like this analysis, but it is the truth. As such, any move by the party could be seen to be in line with its main motto, that of keeping the Congress away from the corridors of power. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had many a time said that there should be Congress Mukt Bharat. While the BJP was faltering in its tactics to gain momentum to pit itself against the BRS, it failed to spread its base across Telangana. In the meantime, Congress, buoyed by the Karnataka experiment, is thrusting forward, touting its Six Guarantee Cards. As it improved its stock among the people, the BJP influence kept waning, especially after Bandi Sanjay was divested of the state leadership.

Congress having stalled the southward march of BJP has made the saffron leaders turn jittery and change their strategies. Akin to the saying of my enemy’s enemy is my friend. Not in a position to beat either BRS in Telangana or YSRCP in Andhra Pradesh, it seems to have joined hands with them, at least that is what the public has come to believe. Forget Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, play hide and seek, indulge in shadow boxing and let the respective ruling parties in the two Telugu states win the game. While its enemy no. 1 in Telangana is BRS, it is TDP in Andhra Pradesh.

Is the BJP really pro-YSRCP? Well, the people of AP were not sure till the TDP chief Nara Chandrababu Naidu was arrested and sent to judicial remand. But the way the things are turning out to be, it does give the impression that the BJP was behind his arrest. All this notwithstanding the denials by BJP and the recent meeting Lokesh, Purandeswari and Kishan Reddy had with Amit Shah. People have now come to the conclusion that BJP was certainly behind Naidu’s arrest. An about turn in the situation seems to be in order. The way Pawan Kalyan extended support to TDP and tieup between the two to fight polls together have given a new boost to the cadre of both the parties and there is an imminent change in the mood of the people and the sympathy for Naidu has gone up. The most unfortunate aspect is that the ruling YSRCP leaders continue to shoot their mouth, making vulgar remarks against Naidu’s wife and daughter-in-law. Political differences are fine, but it does not mean that one should so openly exhibit political vendetta.

Against this backdrop, the BJP central leaders and the state leaders in the two Telugu states are at odds, as the latters’ plans are going awry. They are at a loss over what stand to take publicly and convince the people that they are not pro-ruling party in TS or Andhra Pradesh. The way the Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently revealed how KCR wanted to join NDA and wanted his blessing to make KTR the CM was supposed to be a sure shot missile against the BRS, but it too missed its target. It missed the target because the remark was apparently meant for public consumption only. Understanding the mood of the central leaders, the Telangana BJP did not make any effort to turn PM’s potent revelation into an advantage in Telagnana poll campaign so far.

One expected some more fireworks from Union Home Minister Amit Shah but it went off like a Lakshmi Bomb of Diwali. He spoke more about extending free education and treatment for the poor, crop insurance for farmers, and the spirited fight against the Nizam and how the BJP celebrated Liberation Day in Hyderabad after 75 years. None of these issues would be of any interest to the voters of Telangana. This further confirms the belief that the BJP is not serious to take on BRS. In AP, it started talking about corruption in liquor sales and liquor manufacturing. Well, the question people now ask it is whether it realized the issue only now. Why was it silent for over four years? State BJP president D Purandeswari complained to the Centre about the way the State had raised loans. Was the Union government blind to what was happening? Certainly, not. Raising such issues on the eve of elections and the political developments have spoiled the name of BJP but who cares for people and development of the state? What matters is how to retain power at centre and keep all parties, whose support it needs, under its thumb.

One can only be hopeful that some miracle will happen and India will see real Amrit Kal, for the present, as of now the situation appears that the BJP and the Congress will be locked in neck-to-neck fight in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh while in Rajasthan the BJP has a slight edge and may manage to come to power. In AP, it has no stakes though leaders like GVL Narasimha Rao are trying hard for Visakhapatnam Lok Sabha seat.

What is required is a complete change in the political ecosystem – not sustainability of any party at any cost. Will the country see such a political ecosystem at least by 2029 elections? Well. it is a trillion-dollar question.

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