Heady with the smart gains that it had made in the recent Lok Sabha elections, BJP in Telangana is on the offensive.
After Prime Minister Narendra Modi emerged as a supernova on the national political scene, the party seems to have been turbocharged to expand its net far and wide in Telangana with an eye on capturing power in 2023.
BJP is keen to prove that winning four Lok Sabha seats — Adilabad, Nizamabad, Karimnagar and Secunderabad and claiming 20 per cent of vote share - is not an aberration but is indicative of growing acceptance of the party and Narendra Modi’s leadership.
Though the BJP does not have a charismatic leader in the State for the people to rally behind, yet it had pocketed four Lok Sabha segments among which were two prized seats - Nizamabad and Karimnagar - from where Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao’s daughter K Kavitha and party senior leader B Vinod sought re-election.
Secunderabad anyway was BJP’s seat through the TRS had thought it would go into its account but it did not pan out that way. Adilabad was a surprise victory for the BJP.
For national leaders, the four seats from Telangana were like a bonus because they did not have much hope to win any, in the wake of the TRS bulldozing its way in the Assembly elections held in December last year.
The victory of the saffron party in Lok Sabha elections in Telangana where Muslims constitute about 12 per cent of the population has made them allow themselves the luxury of first strings of hope that if they do their homework well, the State could be in its kitty, before long.
At the meeting of the office-bearers of the party from various states in Delhi held recently, party chief Amit Shah had patted the State president K Laxman for the remarkable victory and egged him to continue the good work done so that Telangana, besides Karnataka, could serve as the gateway to other southern States to dispel the notion that the BJP belonged to only North India.
Laxman said after the meeting that their target is to capture power in Telangana by 2023, drawing strength from the mojo of Narendra Modi and by exposing KCR’s shortcomings as and when they come to be known.
Already, the party is going to town asking the people how long would they want to live under the tyrannical rule of one family which was benefiting personally at their expense.
The BJP sources say that the party was seriously considering admitting leaders from other parties to increase its sphere of influence, even though it might find it difficult to counter the argument that it was shopping for new leaders from other parties with the sole criterion of winning the election using money and muscle power rather than on consideration of its ideological affinity.
There are reports that party general secretary Ram Madhav, who is known to have gained enough expertise in proselytizing functionaries of other parties into saffron leaders to capture power, has now set his eyes on Telangana.
Unconfirmed reports point out that he was trying to land big fish like Malkajgiri Congress MP A Revanth Reddy.
The party leaders seem to be in touch with TDP leaders in Telangana who have remained rudderless after the bifurcation of the State in 2014 and those who have become persona non grata in the TRS like the likes of G Vivek who was denied a ticket for Peddapalli.
The party at the district level is also eyeing leaders of substance in all parties to infuse new life into the party.
As there are four MPs now for the BJP, the leadership is paying more attention to their strategies of improving the party’s footprint on Telangana soil.
The one comment of Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao in the run-up to Lok Sabha elections calling BJP activists as pseudo-Hindus had drawn a sharp reaction which led to an increase in voting for the BJP, by the sections who consider BJP as a party that fights for Hindutva.