After making a major a dent in West Bengal’s ruling Trinamul Congress, the BJP could now deliver a blow to chief minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao’s Telangana Rashtra Samithi in Telangana. Speculation is rife that at least six sitting MLAs of the state’s ruling party and two senior leaders could join the saffron party in the presence of top BJP leaders on September 17. Telangana is one of the southern states where the BJP has been trying hard to expand its organisational base as well as its support base.
While BJP state unit president K. Laxman had said home minister and BJP president Amit Shah would be visiting Hyderabad and hold a public meeting where some TRS leaders are likely to join, Mr Shah is unlikely to visit due to other engagements. The BJP has been demanding that September 17 be celebrated as “Liberation Day” to mark the merger of the erstwhile Hyderabad state into the Indian Union in 1948.
The BJP state unit has been abuzz that TRS leaders like Bajireddy Govardhan Reddy, Thatikonda Rajaiah, M. Hanumanth Rao, J. Ramanna, Muthireddy Yadgiri Reddy, Shakeel Ahmed and J. Krishna Rao could switch camps. Also, a meeting between BJP Nizamabad MP D. Arvind and TRS leader Shakeel Ahmed has given rise to the speculation that the TRS leader could be one of the state ruling party leaders to join the saffron fold.
Interestingly, Mr Ahmed is considered close to TRS supremo and chief minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao’s daughter K. Kavitha, who was defeated by Mr D. Arvind in the Lok Sabha polls earlier this year. The BJP is now represented by only one MLA, T. Raja Singh, in the state Assembly.