BJP chickens out; Nadda cancels Munugode visit to dodge TRS MLAs' poaching scam

With the exposé of the TRS MLAs' poaching, "Operation Farmhouse", the national leadership of the BJP seems to have chickened out

JP Nadda calls KCR corrupt, BRS as Bhrashtachar Rashtra Samithi

HYDERABAD: With the sensational exposé of the TRS MLAs' poaching case, "Operation Farmhouse", the national leadership of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) seems to have chickened out.

National president of the BJP J P Nadda has cancelled his scheduled visit to Munugode on October 31 in an apparent bid to avoid the political storm stirred by the poaching scandal targeting TRS MLAs.

The BJP chief was supposed to address a public meeting as part of his party's last-gasp preparations to drum up some support from the voters of Munugode who will cast their vote in an Assembly by-election on November 3.

The move came on predicted lines and only confirmed what was being widely expected, given the downbeat mood prevailing within the BJP, especially after the damning revelations of the sensational bribing scandal. The saffron party was accused of trying out its Maharashtra temple in Telangana as well to engineer a defection of some TRS MLAs with heavy enticements in cash and kind.

The BJP is already staring at a steep mountain to climb in Munugode with a host of surveys predicting a third place, well behind the TRS and the Congress. Already sullen, its morale was severely dented after the TRS successfully managed to attach the poaching scandal stigma to it. In a nutshell, the national party is on the retreat, from both Munugode and the ongoing slugfest over the scandal. And Nadda's decision to skip the Munugode meeting came in as an acknowledgement of this fact.

Wheels come off BJP's power 'bulldozer' in Telangana

If the insinuations are right – that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has indeed plotted to poach the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) MLAs – then, the Moinabad farmhouse misadventure is a proof that the national party's bulldozer – its alleged vehicle to topple popular governments in the country – has clearly conked off in Telangana. Ever since the sensational bribery scandal targeting the TRS legislators came to the fore, the big guns of the BJP have fallen silent. Looks like, the entire burden of dealing with its aftermath is completely transferred on to the state unit leaders.

Union Home Minister and BJP strongman Amith Shah is tightlipped while Prime Minister Narendra Modi, known for his knack of dodging tricky moments with stoic silence, appears to have no different plans. Back in Hyderabad and elsewhere in Telangana, Kishan Reddy and Bandi Sanjay are at their wits end, battling this wildfire that is threatening to engulf the BJP. The TRS pulling a fast one and exposing the 'Operation Akarsh' in a patient, month-long 'sting mission' against deal-brokers has pushed the BJP onto the back foot.

Despite the BJP's strong denials and counter-charges to absolve itself from the bribe muddle, the TRS seems to have already done enough damage. Not only was the scandal exposed with the glaring imagery of the Moinabad farmhouse on Wednesday night but it was meticulously followed up with a couple of explosive audio leaks featuring the nitty-gritties of deal negotiations. The buzz that the TRS is all too well prepared to take the 'power bullies' by their horns and more damning evidence in the form of leaked audios and videos will swarm the media in the days to come to establish the complicity, is keeping the BJP leaders on tenterhooks.

It is this very sense of despondency and fear of inviting more trouble that seems to have influenced JP Nadda's decision to skip Munugode in a face-saving attempt. There is a sense of ignominy and panic within the party after the TRS came out all guns blazing to showcase the BJP as the primary culprit in the MLAs' poaching scandal. Already embarrassed, Nadda reportedly preferred to stay away from Munugode rather than facing more awkward moments.

It is believed that it would make life even more difficult for the BJP if Nadda would go ahead with the meeting and not speak on the controversy. Even if he did, that would only be greeted with a flurry of TRS retorts and more leaked audios and videos to precipitate the suspicion of BJP's alleged involvement in the failed bribery attempt. Faced with a catch 22 situation, the BJP national president reportedly decided to run away from both Munugode and the latest controversy that does not show signs of dying down any soon.

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