HYDERABAD: CASTE equations, particularly the Kapu-Kammas divide among the party leaders in the state, are said to be creating difficulties for the BJP’s central leadership as it gets down to the task of naming a new president for the party’s Andhra Pradesh unit.
Owing to this, the BJP high command, which is busy preparing for the polls in Uttar Pradesh, may drag on the issue till it forges a compromise between the Kapu and Kamma groups within the party, sources said.
A core committee meeting of the BJP Andhra Pradesh unit, held in the presence of party boss Amit Shah, in Delhi on Friday reportedly could not arrive at a decision on the new leader.
“The Kapu and Kamma conflict has come in the way of selecting the next state president. One section of leaders urged Amit Shah to select a Kapu leader but another section backed by a veteran leader wanted a Kamma,” one participant told New Indian Express on the telephone from the national capital.
According to sources, Amit Shah and other senior leaders of the party held one-on-one meetings with some party seniors such as Union Minister M Venkaiah Naidu and present state president Kambhampati Haribabu, but the stalemate persisted.
“Consultations are still underway and may continue for some more days. As both Kapu and Kamma groups want the top post, the central leadership wants some more time to decide the matter,” another participant in the meeting said.
The party leadership, however, reportedly directed its state leaders to keep the BJP’s alliance with the TDP going for now.
“We have been categorically asked not to criticise the TDP openly. As the TDP leadership obliged our party by allotting one Rajya Sabha seat to the BJP to accommodate railway minister Suresh Prabhu, our central leadership doesn’t want to annoy the TDP now,” the leader said.
However, Amit Shah asked the state party leaders to take steps to strengthen the party from grassroots level. “We were asked to attract leaders from YSR Congress and Congress in all districts to strengthen our base,” BJP leader and former minister Kanna Lakshminarayana told New Indian Express.