BJP may field its sitting, ex-MPs in Telangana Assembly polls
Meanwhile, former MLAs and former MLCs from the party are already making preparations to contest the Assembly elections independently.
HYDERABAD: In a move aimed at strengthening the party’s presence in rural areas, the BJP high command has decided to field senior leaders, including sitting Members of Parliament (MPs) and former MPs, in the upcoming Telangana Assembly elections. This decision comes on the heels of the recent Karnataka Assembly election rout, which prompted the BJP leadership to adopt a proactive approach.
With an eye on the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections in May 2024, the party’s high command intends to maximise its efforts by having leaders contest in both Assembly and Lok Sabha segments. However, the decision has not been well received by certain leaders who are solely focused on Lok Sabha seats. They say that the BJP lacks a traditional vote bank, especially in rural Telangana, making it a risky proposition to contest the upcoming Assembly polls.
According to sources, the BJP high command is expected to instruct all leaders to choose one Assembly segment within their Lok Sabha constituency as a preparatory ground for the State elections. They said that the party will convince these leaders that it will consider granting Lok Sabha tickets to those who fail to secure victory in the Assembly elections.
In all likelihood, sitting MP and Union Minister G Kishan Reddy is likely to contest from Amberpet, while Karimnagar MP and BJP State president Bandi Sanjay is expected to contest for the Karimnagar Assembly seat. Nizamabad sitting MP Dharmapuri Arvind has already expressed interest in the Nizamabad Rural or Armoor Assembly seat, while Adilabad sitting MP Soyam Bapu Rao is said to be a cinch for Boath or Asifabad Assembly constituencies.
However, Rajya Sabha member K Laxman may be exempted from contesting the Assembly elections; the party may instead field Vikram Goud, son of former minister Mukesh Goud, from the Musheerabad Assembly constituency.
Other potential candidates include DK Aruna, the party’s national vice-president, who may contest from Gadwal, former MPs AP Jithender Reddy from Mahabubnagar, G Vivek from Dharmapuri or Chennur, Boora Narsaiah Goud from Aleru or Bhuvangiri, Konda Vishweswar Reddy from Tandur or some other general constituency, and former MP Ramesh Rathode from Khanapur Assembly seat.
The sources said that the party’s intention behind fielding prominent leaders in the Assembly elections is to project strength and gain an advantage over competitors such as Congress and the BRS. The party leadership believes that such a move is sure to boost the morale of party cadres, who are demoralised by the recent Karnataka Assembly election results.
Meanwhile, former MLAs and former MLCs from the party are already making preparations to contest the Assembly elections independently. This will at least ensure triangular contests in around 50 to 60 Assembly segments, and in some cases, the saffron party may just scrape through due to votes being split between the Congress and the BJP.