What the change of guard means to Telangana unit of BJP?

For now, Sanjay is merely an MP from Karimnagar, while Union Minister Kishan Reddy is also the Telangana BJP president-designate

What the change of guard means to Telangana unit of BJP?

HYDERABAD: Bandi Sanjay has been shown the door from the presidency of Telangana unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Though it’s speculated that Sanjay would be accommodated as a Minister of State in the Narendra Modi Cabinet, it’s something he has to wait and watch. Meanwhile Kishan Reddy was sent to replace Sanjay. Will Kishan Reddy continue to hold the Cabinet post is not yet known.

For now, Sanjay is merely an MP from Karimnagar, while Union Minister Kishan Reddy is also the Telangana BJP president-designate.

Going by the BJP’s ‘one man, one post’ rule, Kishan Reddy may not continue as Union Minister. It’s by promotion that he grew to the Cabinet rank from being an MoS.

He surely would have swallowed the fact of his new responsibility thrust upon him grudgingly for two reasons:

1. That he will have to demit the coveted office of the Union Cabinet minister, the highest position that he could not have expected, but scaled; and the joy of holding it is short-lived.

2. That the task of State president at a “wrong time” — when the elections in Telangana are just four to five months away.

The protocol of a Union Cabinet Minister would get him too many facilities that he may have to give up. This is personally a demotion for him.

However, he hasn’t been disgraced from the position. On the other hand, it appears that he is tasked with a bigger responsibility to lead the party in the upcoming polls. If only Dame Luck smiles on him and the BJP wins Telangana under his leadership, he would hit a jackpot of becoming the Chief Minister. However, this doesn’t seem even a remotest possibility, given the situation in Telangana.

Fighting a ‘mighty’ KCR is too Herculean a task for Kishan Reddy’s stature.

Nonetheless, the party’s national leadership entrusted the big responsibility to Kishan Reddy. He’s known to be moderate in his criticism of his opponents unlike his predecessor.

Kishan Reddy has never gone overboard in his criticism of the opponents. Will he bring back decorum in dealing with the BRS or will he tread the same path as Bandj Sanjay has yet to unfold. The tone and tenor may become sharper, but surely he’s very unlikely to choose vitriolic language against either the BRS or the Congress.

Kishan Reddy grew up the ranks from being in Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha and steadily grew up the ladder without appearing to be greedy.

He holds an important portfolio in the Centre. It’s not tourism, but the north eastern states. Now though Manipur is burning, he became a mute spectator as the issue is much beyond the scope of his brief. As far as this is concerned, Kishan Reddy is a lot relieved. How much if bravado or courage can he infuse in the party cadres at a time when the biggest litmus test of his political career is staring at him remains a big question.

Bandi Sanjay indeed rubbed Eatala Rajender, the estranged BRS leader, in the wrong. Rajender felt insulted on being ignored in party activities and his presence has always seemed to be ornamental. Rajender’s new old colleague and MLA from Dubbaka M Raghunanadan Rao threw his weight behind Rajender in revolting against Sanjay’s ‘waywardly’ handling of the party. Sanjay’s unsavoury remarks like conducting surgical strikes on the old city of Hyderabad and his eventual cover drive suggesting that it’s meant to eliminate Rohingyas didn’t go well with anyone in Telangana. Bandi was reportedly snubbed for such irresponsible remarks even by senior party leaders in Delhi.

Aside from the focussed campaign against him, Sanjay also was said to have incurred the wrath of party’s general secretary B L Santosh in the light of ‘mishandling’ the MLAs’ poaching which recoiled and fell flat on the face of the BJP. Bandi Sanjay’s capabilities to lead the party are limited. His puerile and more often than not ludicrous comments cornered the BJP. The silly plotting of leaking the SSC question papers and his subsequent arrest only embarrassed the party which angered parents of the students of SSC in the state.

His acidic Hindutva posturing and caustic rhetoric of religion distanced the party from many sections to the party, especially when the BRS espoused the cause of inclusiveness.

Though Bandi Sanjay succeeded in organising the national executive meetings and the public meeting of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, he couldn’t sustain the positive reflexes from the party leadership. In fact, it’s only after he took over the reins of the party’s Telangana unit that the hope in the party it could go for the kill in Telangana was kindled. Amit Shah frequented the State to address public meetings. Unexpected successes in Dubbaka and Huzurabad Assembly seats and unprecedented performance in the GHMC polls - largely due to the follies of the BRS at election time - have all accrued as feathers in Bandi Sanjay’s cap. Emboldened by these victories, he began ignoring everyone in the party. But being a gasbag rendered him as an early burnout. His detractors began counting his sins and promptly crooned them at regular intervals and struck at an opportune time. Bandi Sanjay may consider his dissidents as pursuing sinister designs, but the national leadership too did not hesitate to join them in ejecting him out.

Now whether he would be accommodated as an MoS is a big question lurking in the minds of one and all. To save face, his hierophants floated a new rumour that he’s not inclined to join the Union Council of Ministers and that he would remain as a committed party worker. In case, Modi declines to induct Sanjay into the ministry, this theory of Sanjay’s reluctance or sulking would provide the necessary “grace” from embarrassment.

For now, the embattled leader is set aside.

Elevation of Eatala Rajender as Election Committee chairman from being a hiring manager is another never-before act the BJP indulged in. It never had an election committee in the State.

Now, Raghunanadan Rao has turned out to be a roughneck in the party. Which way he would drift is to be seen, even as Komatireddy Rajgopal Reddy who face double whammy by resigning from the Congress and MLA post and losing Munugode election is making overtures to get back to the Congress.

However, wittingly or unwittingly, the BJP national leadership caused a heartburn in two leaders:

1. Kishan Reddy by depriving him of Cabinet post and

2. Bandi Sanjay by sacking him unceremoniously from a pole position in the party before the polls.

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