HYDERABAD: Even as it goes to great lengths to project itself as a viable alternative to the ruling TRS in Telangana, the BJP faces a herculean task to come to power in the State. With talk of early elections gaining ground, the saffron party will have to pull its act together and get its leaders geared up to take on the might of a well-entrenched TRS and the Congress which still retains a solid base in Telangana. For it to do so, time is rapidly running out for the BJP.
The entire central leadership of the BJP is focusing on Telangana, with the sole aim of coming to power in the State. For its part, the head honchos of the saffron party are sparing no effort with their frequent trips. Even Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made it a point to visit Hyderabad to boost the morale of party workers.In addition, the party has generated excitement among its cadre with the national executive meetings scheduled early next month, for which various wings of the party have been busy with arrangements.
Feel good factor
Party workers too are busy reaching out to the people at the booth-level by distributing pamphlets and holding meetings to highlight the work done by the NDA government in the last eight years. While the feel good factor within the party is visible, questions remain about how the party will hit the bulls eye in the coming election.
For example, one of the main allegations of BJP against the ruling party has been large-scale corruption in Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Scheme (KLIS). While the allegations by party leaders have been quite loud, none of these charges have been backed by any semblance of proof.“As the people’s representatives may not have time to file RTIs or gather evidence on corruption, somebody must do that. Without financial support, the cadres won’t be able to do these kinds of exercises, let alone survive the repressive tactics being employed by the State government,” said a senior BJP functionary on condition of anonymity. It is an undeniable fact that in a party like the BJP, workers will have to work voluntarily, even to the extent of spending from their own pockets.
Lacking killer instinct
While the saffron party has been waging movements against the State government on every issue concerning the people, the party hasn’t been much successful in championing issues that play the deciding factor in the elections.Recently, the Election Commission revealed that there were 22 lakh photo similar entries across the State, of which six lakh were in the GHMC limits alone. The issue of deletion of votes has been happening in every election, and BJP has been alleging that the votes of its supporters were being deleted. There was a time two decades ago when BJP MLAs used to scrutinise the voter list at the micro-level. Unfortunately, this is one area where constant follow-up has been missing of late.
BJP spokesperson NV Subhash said during the 2018 elections an astonishing 15 lakh votes have gone missing. This time around, he said the party has lodged a complaint with the Chief Election Commissioner about the photo similar entries and that it is in the authority of the district Collectors to take action. He stated that when the process of scrutiny is initiated six months before the elections, the booth-level officers will get involved with election officials and raise red flags wherever they notice a discrepancy.
There are mixed responses coming from within the party whether the booth-level committees have been functioning or not. Organising is one crucial aspect which acts as a uniting force in any party. A position (organising secretary) which can hold the leaders together, micro-manage the organisation at the cadre-level and act as a liaison between the top leadership and the grassroots cadre is what the party needs at this point, according to party leaders, who have been seeking a change of guard in this respect. The RSS is yet to take a decision on this front.