Vijayawada

Somu Veerraju likely to head BJP’s State unit

The choice has been made apparently with an eye on elections in 2019

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) National President Amit Shah’s visit from August 28 is likely to result in a change in the guard of the BJP’s state unit.

Party MLC Somu Veerraju is likely to replace Visakhaptnam MP and BJP A.P. President Kambhampati Haribabu. The announcement, however, will not be made during Mr. Shah’s stay in the State as per sources.

The BJP national president will focus on interaction with the party cadres and booth-level committees, and take stock of the party affairs vis-à-vis the roadmap laid down by him for strengthening the base in A.P. right from the booth level.

The party high command has already taken a decision in regard to the BJP state president post. “In all probabilities, Mr. Veerraju will be new president,” said a senior leader, who did not want to be quoted.

Mr. Shah’s visit is not solely aimed at changing the president. The purpose is to personally monitor the progress achieved by the party so far in A.P. and take stock of the issues related to the alliance with TDP, he said.

Names like Narsapuram MP Gokaraju Gangaraju and Daggubati Purandeswari are doing the rounds.

Leaders such as Kavuri Sambasiva Rao and Kanna Lakshminarayana are trying to wield their influence on the party. But, among the two contenders, Mr. Veeraju appears to have greater chance for elevation.

Kapu factor

The BJP has zeroed in on his name, apparently with an eye on elections in 2019. The party, probably, wanted to send a signal to the voters that it gives prominence to the Kapu community, which has emerged as a deciding factor in elections. Also, he has been a senior leader loyal to the party.

More so, after election of M. Venkaiah Naidu as Vice-President, the BJP’s strategy for A.P. are changing swiftly. Change in leadership and review of its alliance with the TDP topped its agenda, sources say.

The BJP did not appoint a new president though it completed the election of district committees as part of its revamping exercise by February 2016 itself.

The party central leadership favoured the continuation of Mr. Haribabu for various reasons notwithstanding the aspiration of some leaders to step into his shoes. He was appointed president of the A.P. unit after bifurcation with effect from March 2014.

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Printable version | Jun 5, 2020 9:22:10 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Vijayawada/somu-veerraju-likely-to-head-bjps-state-unit/article19520432.ece

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