The Modi factor will work, says Bandaru Ranga Mohana Rao

Putting a brave front ahead of a series of elections, the BJP hopes that voter preferences will be different in general and local elections, and the electorate will favour it in the Assembly and Lok Sabha polls.

The party’s electoral performance in the State in 2009 was abysmal.

Fighting alone, it had contested 272 Assembly constituencies and 42 Lok Sabha seats, according to party vice-president and member of the State Election Committee Bandaru Ranga Mohana Rao. It had won two Assembly seats — both in the Telangana region — and the vote share was between 2 per cent and 3 per cent, Mr. Rao said.

Now, the mood in the party is upbeat with the media blitzkrieg on ‘Modi for PM’, electoral alliance with the TDP on the cards, and actor Pavan Kalyan meeting Mr. Modi. “In the local elections, the candidate matters. But when it comes to general elections, the focus is on development,” Mr. Rao told The Hindu on Sunday, exuding confidence that the Modi factor would help.

He admits that the party has not been able to put up candidates at several places for the MPTC and ZPTC elections stating that it is the predicament of some other parties as well owing to the short notice.

“We are able to put up nominees in 15 to 20 per cent of the seats in the Seemandhra region,” he said.

In Visakhapatnam district, it has put up candidates for 15 of the 39 ZPTCs and 64 of the 600-odd MPTCs.

‘Good support’

He sees better support for the party now than during the time when A.B. Vajpayee was projected as Prime Minister.

Asked about the charge against the party that it colluded with the Congress in the bifurcation of the State, he described it as mud-slinging by some political parties and asked, “Other parties troubled people for two months, but what did they achieve?”

The BJP was of the view that division was needed for development and it did well for Seemandhra by pitching for it, Mr. Rao added.