BJP replaces its Telangana and Andhra chiefs to placate local leaders, bolster party
Are slight winds of change breezing through Telangana, which was seeming like an impregnable fort of Chief Minister and Bharat Rashtra Samiti (formerly Telangana Rashtra Samiti) chief K Chandrashekhara Rao just a few weeks ago?
Amid indications of a BRS and BJP understanding, if not a formal tie up, it is the Congress that is showing signs of aggressiveness, poaching leaders from both the BRS and BJP, forcing them to fortify their respective parties. While, the BRS does not appear to be as vulnerable, the BJP is staring at the prospects of losing a few leaders who came from the Congress, who may do “ghar wapasi”. Prominent name among them is Raja Gopal Reddy, who contested an assembly byelection as a BJP candidate and lost. Leaders in the Congress as sure that Reddy was about to join the party and he has met former Congress MP Ponguleti Srinivas Reddy, who joined the Congress recently. Incidentally he was amongst the BJP leaders from Telangana who went to Delhi recently for discussions with the party high command and are said to have complained about state party chief Bandi Sanjay.
BJP takes steps
Incidentally, the BJP has begun to set its house in order and on Tuesday replaced the state BJP unit chief Bandi Sanjay with a more affable G Kishan Reddy, who has been working in Telangana from his days as a BJYM office bearer. Having served as a union minister for nearly 10 years, Kishan Reddy is also a man of stature who can take all the partymen along, and also has a good rapport with the BRS leadership in the state.
The BJP on Tuesday appointed Reddy as the new BJP president in Telangana and directed him to take immediate charge. The outgoing president, Bandi Sanjay faced the ire of rank and file in the party and also several leaders and cadres were upset with his style of functioning, and had made several complaints against him to the central leadership. It is reliably learnt that another significant leader also did some plain talking, and after several rounds of discussions a decision was taken to replace Bandi Sanjay, who was asked to step down by the central party leadership. While, the replacement of the state BJP unit chief was a common demand of many leaders from the state, the central leadership also placated another prominent local leader Etala Rajender by making him the chairman of the state campaign committee. Etala was also being mentioned by local media to be among the BJP leaders trying to cross over to the Congress.
The BJP National President Shri @JPNadda has appointed Shri Etela Rajender, MLA and Ex-Minister of Telangana, as the Chairman of the Election Management Committee of Telangana, BJP for the forthcoming Assembly Elections. pic.twitter.com/gEKk0J0Zqr
— BJP (@BJP4India) July 4, 2023
When sorting out the mess in Telangana, the BJP top brass at Delhi also effected a change in the leadership of the party in Andhra Pradesh, appointing union minister D Purandeswari as the state unit head, replacing Somu Veerraju. The party was also strengthened in AP by appointing former Chief Minister N Kiran Kumar Reddy as a member of the BJP’s national executive.