BJP eying inorganic growth in Telugu States with imported candidates

Take a look at the list published above. It exposes how heavily the BJP has banked heavily on the idea of inorganic growth.

BJP eying inorganic growth in Telugu States with imported candidates

Full list of BJP candidates for Telangana—

1. Adilabad - Godam Nagesh – BRS

2. Peddapalle- Gomasa Srinivas – BRS

3. Karimnagar- Bandi Sanjay – BJP

4. Nizamabad- Arvind Dharmapuri – BJP

5. Zahirabad- B B Patil – BRS

6. Medak- Raghunandan Rao – BRS

7. Malkajgiri- Eatala Rajender – BRS

8. Secunderabad- G Kishen Reddy – BRS

9. Hyderabad- Madhavi Latha Kompella – BJP

10. Chevella- Konda Vishweshwar Reddy – BRS

11. Mahbubnagar- D K Aruna – Congress

12. Nagarkurnool- Pothugangi Bharat – BRS

13. Nalgonda- Saidi Reddy – BRS

14. Bhongir- Boora Narsaiah Goud – BRS

15. Warangal- Aroori Ramesh – BRS

16. Mahbubabad- Azmeera Seetaram Naik – BRS

17. Khammam- Tandra Vinod Rao – Businessmen

Full list of BJP candidates from Andhra Pradesh

1. Araku Kothapalli Geetha – YSRCP

2. Anakapalle – CM Ramesh – TDP

3. Daggubati Purandeswhari – Congress

4. Narsapuram – Srinivasa Varama – BJP

5. Tirupati - Varaprasada Rao – YSRCP

6. Rajampet - N Kiran Kumar Reddy – Congress

HYDERABAD: Take a look at the list published above. It exposes how heavily the BJP has banked on the idea of inorganic growth. The lists explain that factors like winnability and financial muscle are reasons for choosing the candidates in some cases for selection, while its nothing but making nice with the allies in some others.

First, let us examine the list of contestants from Telangana.

As many as 11 candidates contesting the upcoming Lok Sabha elections on behalf of the BJP from Telangana had a brush with the Bharat Rashtra Samithi (BRS) or in its erstwhile form as the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS).

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Some of those leaders began their political career in the TRS under the leadership of K Chandrashekar Rao (KCR). He groomed them into leaders and entrusted them with big responsibilities and in some cases made them public faces of his agitation for a separate statehood for Telangana.

For a new political party that sprouted from an agitation for a cause, it’s quite commonplace to import likeminded people from other parties, while building its core from the grass roots. Therefore, the first two parties KCR had laid hands on to induct leaders were the Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the Congress.

KCR, who had a brief stint in the Congress (youth Congress), maybe for four years, found his calling in the newly-formed TDP in 1982 and until 2001, when he pressed the eject button to launch the agitation, there was no looking back. He had brought in many off his old pals from the TDP and encouraged many Congressmen who had been nursing the idea of a separate Telangana. People with left leanings like Etala Rajender and the likes of Nayini Narsimha Reddy from the Janata Dal too were ushered in. Even Ale Narendra, who had almost lived his life in the BJP, too joined the flock of KCR.

Well, the rest is history.

But, the BJP when it’s raring to go in Telangana and is expecting to reap a bountiful crop of MPs from Telangana, has largely focused on inorganic growth. In fact, the BJP, usually boasts of relying on leaders manufactured by its mothership, the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS), has changed the tack after Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister of India and began luring in many from other parties. Even at the cost of being accused of luring leaders from the other parties either by hook or by crook and “whitewashing” their alleged sins, the BJP attracted many a leader on to its side.

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This time around, it has taken 11 of those either manufactured or marketed by KCR. Looks like, the political branding found its roots in the leaders marking them as white-labelled so that they can adapt themselves to any brand.

Blatantly, the BJP embraced people like BB Patil (BRS MP from Zaheerabad), Pothuganti Bharat (whose father P Ramulu was BRS MP from Nagarkurnool), and Shanampudi Saidireddy who lost the Huzurnagar Assembly seat as the BRS nominee, and Aroori Ramesh who lost from Wardhannapet Assembly seat as recent as in 2023 December.

Those who had moorings of their personal democratic political careers in the BRS/TRS included candidates like Madhavaneni Raghunandan Rao, Etala Rajender, Konda Vishweshwar Reddy, Prof Azmera Seetharam Naik, Gomasa Srinivas and Dr Boora Narsaiah Goud. G Nagesh was with the TDP, while D K Aruna was with the Congress.

Andhra Pradesh no different

When it comes to Andhra Pradesh, barring Bhupathiraju Srinivas Varma, who had contested on behalf of the BJP in 2009 Lok Sabha elections from Narsapauram Lok Sabha seat, all others were imported into the BJP.

Andhra Pradesh unit president of the BJP and former Union Minister of State (in UPA Government) Daggubati Purandeshwari moved into the BJP from the Congress in March 2014 and contested as the BJP candidate from Rajampet Lok Sabha seat in 2014 and Visakahapatnam Lok Sabha seat in 2019 and lost. She will be contesting from Rajahmundry Lok Sabha seat to test her fortunes. She had represented Bapatla Lok Sabha seat from the Congress in 2004, and Visakhapatnam in 2009.

Last Chief Minister of undivided Andhra Pradesh Nallari Kiran Kumar Reddy, who was always with the Congress, finally landed in the BJP after a decade-long political hiatus. The BJP has fielded him from Rajamepet Lok Sabha constituency, while his younger brother Kishore Kumar Reddy is contesting from Pileru in Chittoor district on bhealf of the TDP.

Rajya Sabha member CM Ramesh who always lived in the TDP, was exported into the BJP soon after the TDP lost power in May 2019. However, he has always engaged in strong lobbying for the TDP and its supremo N Chandrababu Naidu in Delhi by being a BJP MP. Some kind of a political moonlighting, it is. It’s he who was used by Naidu to broker peace with the BJP and break the ice between the two parties.

Araku (ST) constituency BJP nominee Kothapalli Geetha, a former MP of the YSR Congress, fell apart with YS Jagan in 2018 and joined the BJP. There was a verdict on her ST reservation status that went against her and the case is still at a higher court. She has been facing bank fraud charges. However, the BJP nominate her from Araku Lok Sabha constituency.

Velagapalli Varaprasada Rao, who is fielded by the BJP from Tirupati (SC) reserved constituency, was an MP from the same constituency on behalf of the YSR Congress in 2014. He is an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of 1983 batch from Tamil Nadu cadre. He was fielded as MLA from Gudur Assembly seat in Nellore district by the YSR Congress in 2019 and he was elected to the Assembly. However, he was denied the party ticket in 2024. He joined the BJP two days ago and was fielded from Tirupati Lok Sabha constituency.

These selections in both States explain that the BJP is eying an inorganic growth instead of depending on its own cadres. For, the BJP’s rise and fall in undivided Andhra Pradesh has always been through its alliances with the TDP. First time, it went alone to polls in 2019 Lok Sabha elections in Telangana and could post a remarkable performance winning four out of the 17 seats, giving it the necessary confidence that eventually led to the rift with KCR.

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