The Bharatiya Janata Party, which has gained considerable strength in Telangana in the last two years, is now focussing on neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, where the party is on a weak-footing.
On Monday, the BJP national leadership announced a 13-member core committee to strengthen the party in Andhra Pradesh.
The committee comprises BJP state party president Somu Veerraju, former president Kanna Laxminarayana, party national general secretary Daggubati Purandeshwari, Rajya Sabha members T G Venkatesh, C M Ramesh, Y S Chowdary and GVL Narasimha Rao, party secretary Satya Kumar, former MLC P V N Madhav and senior leaders Madhukar, Nimmaka Jayaraj, Relangai Sridevi and Chandra Mouli.
Besides, there would be three special invitees in the core committee: BJP in-charge of Andhra affairs Muralidharan, co-in-charge Sunil Deodhar and Shiva Prakash.
“The committee will meet once in a month to chalk out an action plan for taking up various programmes to activate the party at all levels,” a senior BJP leader familiar with the development said.
The BJP, which had won four assembly seats and two Lok Sabha seats in alliance with the Telugu Desam Party in 2014 general elections, drew a complete blank in 2019, when it contested independently. It could get only 0.84 per cent of vote share, much lesser than 1.28 per cent of votes polled under NOTA.
Even in the subsequent by-elections and local body elections, the BJP could not put up a good show, despite entering into an electoral alliance with Jana Sena Party floated by Tollywood hero Pawan Kalyan.
However, with the TDP’s graph going downwards in the recent local body elections, the BJP has realised that it can emerge as a strong alternative to the ruling YSR Congress party in the coming days, if it takes up the cause of the people on various issues.
The party leader quoted above said during the recent visit to Tirupati, Union home minister and former BJP national president Amit Shah gave a direction to the senior party leaders to take up various programmes against the Jagan Mohan Reddy government.
On his instructions, the BJP leaders took part in the ongoing “padayatra” (foot march) of the farmers of Amaravati and extended support to their agitation against the formation of three capitals for Andhra Pradesh.
“It is the first step in the direction of our fight against the government. In the coming days, the people are going to see a rejuvenated BJP,” the party leader said.