BJP president Amit Shah expressed confidence that the party would certainly conquer the southern states of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala in the near future.
“The BJP is already the single largest party in Karnataka. If not immediately, we are sure to form the government there. And in the coming years, we have the potential to come to power in Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala as well,” Shah said, addressing a huge gathering of party workers at Shamshabad on the outskirts of Hyderabad, last evening..
Shah, who visited Hyderabad for the first time after the party returned to power for the second successive time at the Centre, kicked off the party’s membership drive in Telangana. Among those who joined the BJP was former chief minister of combined Andhra Pradesh Nadendla Bhaskar Rao, who was instrumental in setting up the Telugu Desam Party along with N T Rama Rao in 1982 and later in dethroning the latter in a coup in August 1984. Retired IAS officer R V Chandravadan also joined the party.
Expressing happiness over the way the BJP had strengthened its position in Telangana by winning more than 19 per cent of votes in the recent general elections, the party president recalled that in as many as 17 states in the country, the BJP had secured more than 50 per cent vote share in the elections. “I am sure by next elections, the BJP would win 50 per cent votes in Telangana as well,” he said. Shah welcomed experienced and good leaders from other parties into the BJP.
“There is a need for Sajjan Sanghatan (consolidation of good people) in the party. We welcome leaders from other parties having faith in our party philosophy and the leadership. In fact, there is a need for all sections of people joining the BJP to strengthen the hands of the leadership,” he said.
The BJP president called upon the leaders and cadre in Telangana to expand the party network in the entire state by enrolling more members. “At present, the BJP has 12 lakh members in Telangana, but it is not sufficient. I told the party leaders to take it up to 30 lakh by enrolling another 18 lakh members in the coming months,” he said.