VISAKHAPATNAM:Amidst speculations over the widening gap between Bharatiya Janata Party and Telugu Desam Party, the BJP leadership is making all efforts to grow into a strong national party in the state.
Over the next four years, the national party, which is facing severe backlash for not sanctioning special category status to Andhra Pradesh, is looking forward to win over the hearts of the people of the state by leaving no stone unturned.
“We want to strengthen our base in Andhra Pradesh, as a part of our strategy to grow into a formidable force in South India. The BJP government has been very liberal in sanctioning projects and funds to AP, despite the delay in sanctioning the special status, and would continue to do so,” party national general secretary P Muralidhar Rao told newsmen here Saturday.
However, he was quick to add that there was enough political space providing the national party with scope to grow in the state without annoying its ally, TDP. Elaborating on their plans, Muralidhar Rao said that the party is aiming to emerge as the biggest national party in the country with a whopping 10 crore registered members. In AP, where the party is still in its nascent stage, it succeeded in enrolling over 35 lakh members as part of its membership drive, which would conclude onApril 30.
“Over the next few months, we would consolidate the entire data pertaining to our members and verify the details as well as eliminate any fake or double registrations,” he said. Besides Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, the saffron party is focusing on strengthening itself in five other states of South India and North Eastern region.
When questioned about the contradictory statements being made by Union ministers of the BJP government over sanctioning special category status to AP, as promised in the AP Reorganisation Act, he evaded a direct answer and said that the Centre government is committed to accord special category status to Andhra Pradesh.
“We want to expand our party in Andhra Pradesh and hence, there is no question of compromising over the development of the state. Moreover, lack of special category status to the state would not hamper developmental activities,” he clarified.
Though the special category status for AP was very much under consideration, he said that there was no set timeframe and assured that the BJP gave its absolute commitment to complete the Polavaram project.