Kanna Lakshminarayana resigns from BJP, may join TDP

Kanna Lakshminarayana has been unhappy and upset with the style of functioning of the BJP in Andhra Pradesh

Kanna Lakshminarayana

AMARAVATI: As largely being anticipated for quite some time, former president of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Andhra Pradesh unit Kanna Lakshminarayana on Thursday resigned from his party. He sent his resignation letter to BJP National President J P Nadda. The senior politician announced his decision after holding an emergency meeting with his followers. His resignation came amid speculation that he might make his inclination for the TDP public in the next three days before formally joining the party on February 23 or 24.

Kanna Lakshminarayana has been unhappy and upset with the style of functioning of the party in Andhra Pradesh. More specifically, he bitterly opposed his successor Somu Veerraju ever since he was replaced by the latter in the saddle. Now that he proved the speculation of his departure from the BJP right with his resignation, he is likely to join either the TDP or the Jana Sena, as being widely talked about in the last several months.

Interestingly, contrary to expectations, Kanna Lakshminarayana came up with only a terse resignation letter, ‘citing personal reasons and compulsions’ for his decision to quit the BJP. Though he reportedly made his displeasure known to the party top leadership on several occasions in the past, he refrained from reflecting it in his resignation letter and showcasing it as a ruse to desert the party.

“I hereby tender my resignation to the primary membership of the party with immediate effect due to personal reasons and compulsions,” read his resignation letter.

Hours before his resignation, the BJP flag on his car was also removed, in a clear indication of his moves. Kanna Lakshminarayana was appointed as BJP Andhra Pradesh chief in April 2018 as part of the saffron party’s strategy to woo and consolidate Kapu community votes. The move came amid dramatic circumstances when the senior politician was reportedly found oscillating between the BJP and the YSRCP for greener pastures.

After spending a little over two years in the key position and being severely criticised for allegedly working covertly to promote the interests of the TDP more than his own party, he was replaced by Somu Veerraju of the same community. Somu Veerraju’s long-time loyalty to the party also tipped the scales in his favour as against Lakshminarayana, who was only a few years old in the BJP, having switched sides from the Congress in the post-bifurcation scenario.

He however failed to establish cordial relations with Somu Veerraju from then on and was frequently seen publicly attacking the BJP state chief’s handling of party affairs. Lakshminarayana sent rumour mills into an overdrive a few weeks ago when he met Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan’s go-to man Nadendla Manohar, his long-time friend in the Congress. The speculation that he would be ditching the BJP for Jana Sena was however shot down by Pawan Kalyan himself recently, when he said that his party would not fancy that option as they were still in alliance with the BJP.

There is intense speculation however that the veteran politician would be heading towards the TDP, sooner or later. Some reports claim that a group of key TDP leaders had recently met Kanna Lakshminarayana in Hyderabad and held detailed deliberations to facilitate his switch into their party. Following this meeting, the senior leader was understood to have firmed up his future course of action leading to his resignation to the BJP on Thursday. If the prevailing speculation is anything to go by, he would announce his decision to join the TDP in the next three days and later embrace the party formally on February 23 or 24.

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