To join BJP, leaders say ticket please
‘Pied Piper’ Eatala is believed to have sent Shah a list of leaders willing to don saffron scarves.
HYDERABAD: BJP MLA Eatala Rajender, who is also the chairman of the party’s “joinings committee”, is understood to have given a list of those who are willing to switch sides to Union Home Minister Amit Shah at Delhi. The MLA discussed names with the top leadership of the party. He reportedly has told Shah that many of these leaders wanted assurance that they would get party tickets if they chose to cross the Rubicon and join the BJP.
According to sources, leaders from erstwhile Nizamabad, Rangareddy and Mahabubnagar districts spoke to Rajender in January expressing their willingness to join the BJP but wanted assurance that they would be given party tickets.
Sources said that Shah is likely to speak to these leaders over phone and if he is convinced of their calibre, he may ask them to meet him in Delhi at a later date.
Two businessmen also on the list sent by Eatala
Among the leaders from Nizamabad who are showing interest in joining the BJP is a former MLC. There are also two businessmen who are trying to connect with the people through service activities. Now they want to join the BJP and test to what extent their service activity has influenced the people.
The names of two former MLAs from Mahabubnagar, one former MP from Khammam and one former MLA, and several prominent faces from erstwhile Rangareddy district are under consideration by Shah, sources said.
The problem that the party is facing is that those who are already in the district and are aspiring for party tickets are not happy with others from their districts joining the party as this may lead to an unpleasant situation wherein they would have to compete with the newcomers for party tickets.
Telangana BJP leaders have advised the national leadership to be careful about whom they would admit as some of them might not be very popular with the people. They conveyed their fears to Shah during a recent meeting.
A prominent leader of the BJP said that Shah and his back-end team have been assessing the popularity of the leaders in their constituencies. Once these teams submit their reports, the party leadership would take a final call on whether or not to admit them. After the Munugode byelection in November last year, no new leader joined the BJP and now the pressure is increasing to ensure defections as Shah is overseeing this aspect of the poll preparations directly.