HYDERABAD: When BJP Telangana president Bandi Sanjay Kumar takes out a padayatra from Bhagyalakshmi temple in Hyderabad to Huzurabad in Karimnagar district on August 9, the 79th anniversary of the Quit India Movement, he would make his first visible attempt to galvanise people to vanquish the TRS.“I am sure BJP will win the next Assembly elections hands down. My only aim is to offer the victory as a gift to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah. I am not in the race for the chief minister’s position,” Sanjay Kumar, in an interview to TNIE, said, quashing speculation that he has his sights set on Pragati Bhavan.
The Quit India Movement anniversary seems to have been carefully picked to send a message to Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao to quit Pragati Bhavan.“KCR should go. He is a tyrant. What we have in the State is a family rule. It is steeped in corruption,” Sanjay Kumar says. The padayatra decision appears to be intricately linked to the psyche of politicians in AP and Telangana. They believe that a padayatra before the elections is sure to ensure power, like in the case of the late YSR, N Chandrababu Naidu and YS Jagan Mohan Reddy.
Sanjay Kumar says he is annoyed when the TRS targets him, saying he is fomenting communal passions by planning to commence his padayatra from the Bhagyalakshmi temple. “They are asking me why I should start from there. I am asking them, why not? If I talk of the interest of Hindus who are 80 per cent of the population, I am a communalist. When they talk of 20 per cent of the minority population, they are secularists. What irony,” he says wryly.
‘N’Sagar defeat, minor blip’
Sanjay Kumar says his party is all charged up to steamroll into power in the 2023 elections despite minor blips here there like losing the recent two MLC elections and Nagarjuna Sagar Assembly byelection. “The TRS had lifted the floodgates to allow the flow of money in MLC elections. In Nagarjuna Sagar too, they used the same inducement. This apart, BJP has no presence there and we had to fight it out with TRS and war veteran K Jana Reddy. But these setbacks are not going to deter us,” Sanjay Kumar points out.
First phase of padayatra
The padayatra, in its first phase, would be up to Huzurabad as a byelection is due there and then on, it will be a continuous programme till the next Assembly election. “In Huzurabad, we will win the seat without any difficulty as we have Eatala Rajender as our candidate who does not know what defeat is. The purpose of the padayatra is to ingrain the message in people in villages that the BJP is as much rural in character as it is urban. “As I carry on the campaign, I will continue to expose how KCR is slaughtering democracy. The Telangana that we have now belongs to the youth who had made several sacrifices. But they cannot even feel it, leave alone tasting the fruits of their labour,” he says.
Sanjay Kumar dismisses as hogwash the charge that BJP and TRS have a covert understanding to help each other. “This is ridiculous. It will be BJP which will fly the saffron flag on the edifice of power in Telangana in the next election. Though Telangana Congress is making some noises, it is nowhere close to competing with us. We alone are the alternative to the TRS,” Sanjay Kumar said.
‘KCR PLAYING POLITICAL DRAMA OVER WATER ISSUE’
Accusing CM K Chandrasekhar Rao of betraying the people of Telangana with regard to the rightful share of Krishna river waters, BJP State president Bandi Sanjay Kumar alleged that the former was resorting to “political drama” on the issue. The BJP, he said, would not hesitate to expose how KCR and YS Jagan Mohan Reddy “have pulled wool over the eyes of the people of Telangana” with their hidden agenda