BJP bags eight seats even as bigwigs lose

December 03, 2023 11:40 pm | Updated 11:40 pm IST - HYDERABAD

Bharatiya Janata Party Telangana could have been elated for having won eight seats as against just one in the last elections held in 2018, but it comes in the backdrop of bigwigs biting the dust including national general secretary Bandi Sanjay Kumar, election campaign committee chairperson Eatala Rajendra (from two constituencies) MP D. Aravind, M. Raghunandan Rao and others.

Save for two-time MLA T. Raja Singh winning from Goshamahal in the capital again, the seven other elected MLAs are unheralded first-timers or newcomers into the party like giant killer K. Venkataramana Reddy (Kamareddy), P. Rakesh Reddy (Armoor), A. Maheshwar Reddy (Nirmal), P. Harish (Sirpur Kagaznagar), P. Shanker (Adilabad), Rama Rao Pawar (Mudhole) and D. Suryanarayana (Nizamabad Urban).

 BJP candidate from Goshamahal seat T. Raja Singh celebrates after his victory in Telangana Assembly elections, in Hyderabad, on Sunday.

BJP candidate from Goshamahal seat T. Raja Singh celebrates after his victory in Telangana Assembly elections, in Hyderabad, on Sunday. | Photo Credit: PTI

The saffron party had proclaimed to be the alternative to the ruling BRS Party and had dismissed the Congress Party’s victory in neighbouring Karnataka as of no consequence in Telangana. The high-voltage campaign was led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, national president J.P. Nadda, Chief Ministers from other BJP-ruled States, Union Ministers and others, participating in public meetings and road shows, yet it could not cross the single digit mark as was widely speculated.

The party had also positioned itself as the champion of the weaker sections by declaring that a Backward Class person will be made the Chief Minister if it is elected to power and also tried to enlist the support of the Madiga community by committing to the long-pending demand of categorisation of the Scheduled Castes (SC) during the election campaign. It does not seem to have struck a chord with the voters at large.

It is also interesting to note that most of the constituencies where the party had won are communally sensitive areas with substantial minorities population. The party was expected to do well in the twin cities and Rangareddy district where it had performed well during the municipal polls a couple of years ago. However, it has scored a blank with stalwarts like former MLA Ch. Ramachandra Reddy, former MLC N. Ramchander Rao, former MLA N.V.S.S. Prabhakar and others, losing again.

Perhaps, reading the writing on the wall, the party’s manifesto chairman Vivek Venkatswamy had jumped back into Congress Party at the very last minute and won from Chennur. So did Komatireddy Rajagopal Reddy from Munugode which he had lost in a bypoll contesting on BJP flag to the BRS candidate last year in another no holds barred contest.

Few others like Mr. Rajender were stopped by the Central leadership from quitting by acceding to his demands of giving a prominent post and tickets to his followers putting immense faith in him. He not only lost from his traditional bastion of Huzurabad, which he had won as a BJP candidate during a bypoll after he resigned from the BRS, but also from Gajwel when he chose to take on Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao on the latter’s stronghold.

With the support of a few senior leaders, he played a key role in the shifting of firebrand Sanjay Kumar as party president and convinced the Central leadership to go for ‘BC as CM’ slogan which was also earlier tried by TDP unsuccessfully in 2014.

Sure, this is the second best performance for BJP after winning a dozen in 1999 elections in alliance with the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in united AP. But, if it has to perform better in the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls, there is a lot of work to do considering that Congress and BRS candidates won in this election in places where its candidates had won in the last polls.

There is a demand in certain sections of the party for making those involved in tickets distribution be held accountable and go for a thorough revamp of the organisation.

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