Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh: BJP and JSP will fight elections together, says Somu Veerraju

Clearing the air on alliances with the political parties in Andhra Pradesh, BJP State president Somu Veerraju has said that the Jana Sena Party (JSP) founded by Pawan Kalyan has been their partner and will continue to be so in the general elections scheduled to be conducted in 2024.

“There is no ambiguity, or confusion in this regard, and we have also made it clear that there will be no truck with either the TDP or the YSRCP,” Mr. Veerraju told The Hindu on Thursday.

“The TDP is trying to portray that the 2024 elections will be fought against the YSRCP by BJP-JSP-TDP combine. We are clear that there is no space for the TDP in the BJP-JSP combine,” said Mr. Veerraju.

Referring to Mr. Pawan Kalyan’s oft-repeated statement that he would not allow the split of anti-YSRCP votes in the 2024 elections, Mr. Veerraju said, “The statement is being misread. There is no doubt that the anti-incumbency factor has already set in, and there is a huge negative vibe against the ruling YSRCP government. All that the JSP president wants to indicate is that the anti-incumbency votes will be mobilised in favour of the BJP-JSP combine.”

Commenting on the YSRCP’s political stand, he said, “It is a clever ploy of Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy not to vehemently oppose the BJP. There may be some other compelling reasons, but on the political front he is trying to send a signal to the TDP that the BJP is on his side. By doing so, he is creating confusion in the Opposition camp.”

Central schemes

Critical of the way the welfare schemes were being handled, Mr. Veerraju said almost all the schemes that the YSRCP boasts of had been rolled out with huge contributions from the BJP-led government at the Centre. “But this is not being projected,” he alleged.

“We have decided to enlighten the people about the reality. We are strengthening our volunteer network and our social media team,” he said.

Mr. Veerraju also said efforts were on to strengthen the party’s network at the booth level.

“In the State, there are over 40,800 polling booths. Based on the directions from the party leadership, we have decided to enroll at least 10 volunteers for each booth,” he said.

We would also nominate one in-charge for five booths, who would act as the ‘Shakti Kendra’. “This exercise will be over by December and, by the end of this year, we will have over 4 lakh volunteers in our fold. This will be our base for the next elections,” he said.

Brushing aside the perception that the issue of privatisation of the Visakhapatnam Steel Plant (VSP) would pull the BJP down in the State, Mr. Veeraju said, “We have done a lot of good for the VSP earlier, and we are continuing to do so for the good health of the plant.”

Mr. Jagan Mohan Reddy did not have the right to talk about the VSP, as he should first tell why he had sold APGenco to the Adani group, and why he was selling the government-run sugar mills, the BJP leader said.

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Printable version | May 26, 2022 6:54:48 pm |