With the Congress taking the preemptive decision on Telangana, the BJP is now keen on making virtue out of necessity and take credit for the formation of Telangana state. Party leaders claim that it was because of the threat posed by BJP’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi that the Congress has delivered the T-state.
According to BJP sources, it is the Modi phobia that had done the trick. “The Congress has come to a stage where it is ready to do anything, including division of the state, if it is assured of five to seven seats that could add to its tally of Lok Sabha seats in 2014 elections,” one BJP leader said.
When leader of opposition in Parliament Sushma Swaraj called BJP state president G Kishan Reddy and broke the news on Tuesday morning, party leaders quickly decided on drawing a strategy to take credit for the decision on Telangana. Sushama asked Kishan Reddy to convey her greetings to the people of Telangana and also those in Andhra region.
She is understood to have conveyed to him that the prime minister had sought the cooperation of the BJP when the UPA moves a resolution in Parliament for the formation of Telangana state. The BJP agreed to the request, only after ascertaining that the bill would be for formation of Telangana comprising 10 districts and not Rayala Telangana with 12 districts.
The party leaders are planning to campaign that it is because of the BJP’s threat that the Congress was forced to deliver Telangana, and therefore, the credit should go to the BJP and not Congress.
“The Congress has begun speaking about Telangana now. But our stand has been for Telangana state for quite a long time. The Congress has developed cold feet and delivered Telangana,” another BJP leader said.
Another reason why the Congress has decided on Telangana is that it is not very sure which way the TRS would tilt at the time of elections. In the event of the TRS moving away from Congress, the latter would stand to lose. As alliance with the TRS appears uncertain, the Congress had thought of dividing the state now and get whatever electoral benefit that it can to counter the growing influence of Narendra Modi, one senior leader of the BJP said.
“The BJP, for its part, has acted as a catalyst. Our protests in Parliament, our stand on Telangana and the stature of our leader Narendra Modi have helped creation of Telangana state. We will explain this to the people of Telangana as we go to elections in 2014,” a senior leader said.