Telangana

BJP’s ‘poaching’ spree begins in TS

The party is in touch with half-a-dozen senior Congress leaders

Former Congress Minister D.K. Aruna’s surprise entry into the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) late on Tuesday night cannot be ticked off as a one-off development.

Her entry into the BJP and she eyeing the Mahabubnagar Lok Sabha seat is part of a larger agenda of the BJP leadership to systematically ‘decimate’ the Congress, which is facing its worst crisis with the recent debacle in the Assembly elections and a series of defections of its party legislators, maintain BJP leaders.

The architects who prompted large-scale defections from Congress, according to highly-placed BJP sources, are A.P. BJP State president Kanna Lakshminarayana and BJP general secretary Ram Madhav.

It is understood that it was Mr. Lakshminarayana who used his close contacts with the Congress leaders to make them an offer. If the A.P. BJP chief got in touch with the Congress seniors, it was left to Mr. Ram Madhav to clinch the ‘deal’.

It is said that the party has managed to get positive signals from as many as half-a-dozen senior Congress leaders. They include a former Union Minister from the city, who is keen on crossing over to the BJP provided that he is given the Malkajgiri LS seat, which has already been promised to the city BJP chief and MLC N. Ramachander Rao. The same leader had recently contested in the elections as an MLA candidate from one of the seats in the Twin Cities and had lost miserably. Another former Minister from the erstwhile Medak district wants her daughter to be given the Nagarkurnool SC ticket in lieu of her joining the BJP. So is the case with a former Congress Minister from the Twin Cities, who is said to have been contacted by the BJP leadership with an offer for his son, who contested the recent Assembly elections.

A former APCC chief is believed to have been offered a Lok Sabha seat in the erstwhile Nalgonda district. Similarly, a son of a prominent Congress leader, who held important ministerial berth in the successive governments, has been asked to enter the fray from one of the two LS seats in the old Nalgonda district.

A sitting TRS MP, if denied the party ticket, could be fielded as the BJP candidate from Chevella LS seat. The BJP leaders say that they are waiting for the TRS list. There are several reasons for the BJP leadership to encourage defections. “The agenda is simple. We want to improve our voting percentage. Our target is 2024 and we wish to emerge as a force to reckon with. This can happen only when we have a weak Congress party like it happened in Andhra Pradesh,” a senior BJP leader overseeing the present development said.

Even as the party is busy with ‘poaching’, the list of candidates is likely to be announced late in the night or on Friday.

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 1:33:49 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/bjps-poaching-spree-begins-in-ts/article26594328.ece

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