BJP's momentum in Telangana falters as internal struggles surfacetext_fields
Hyderabad: In the lead-up to the upcoming Assembly elections in Telangana, the BJP is facing a setback, hampered by internal disputes and a loss of momentum following their recent defeat in Karnataka.
The unhappiness of senior leaders Etela Rajender and Komatireddy Raj Gopal Reddy lies at the heart of the party's troubles. Both leaders seek additional responsibilities within the organization and are pushing for the removal of the current state unit president, Bandi Sanjay Kumar.
Rajender, who joined the BJP from the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) in 2021, aspires to be projected as the "shadow CM." To resolve the internal issues and present a united front against the BRS, senior BJP figures such as Union Home Minister Amit Shah, BJP national president J P Nadda, and BJP national general secretary Tarun Chugh have been engaging with Rajender and Reddy.
However, the BJP's central leadership is reportedly dissatisfied with these two leaders, as the state unit failed to bring in influential figures such as former Khammam MP Ponguleti Srinivasa Reddy and former state minister Jupally Krishna Rao. These leaders, along with several others, recently joined the Congress, further fuelling the BJP's internal struggles.
Rajender's reluctance to engage with former BRS leaders, as well as the discontent expressed by Raj Gopal Reddy, has reportedly caused a loss of ground for the party and frustrated senior leaders like Shah and Chugh.
Some BJP members believe that the reluctance to incorporate leaders from other parties due to concerns of demands for important posts has led figures like Srinivasa Reddy and Rao to choose the Congress.
The internal power struggle within the BJP has had a demoralizing effect on the party cadre, who were initially optimistic about their chances of winning Telangana, considering the Congress' weakened state. However, with the Congress now gaining momentum, the central leadership's swift resolution of the internal disputes becomes crucial for the BJP to regain its track.
Meanwhile, the Congress is set to formally induct the former BRS leaders at an upcoming public rally in Khammam. Ponguleti Srinivasa Reddy, who had a surprise victory in the Khammam Lok Sabha constituency in 2014, and Jupally Krishna Rao, a prominent five-time MLA from Kolhapur, have joined the Congress ranks. Their addition is seen as a boost for the Congress, which is gradually catching up to the BJP in Telangana.