NEW DELHI: After consolidating its presence in the northeastern and eastern regions where it was considered a fringe outfit until a couple of years ago, BJP is now pulling out all stops to make electoral gains in south Indian states like Telangana and Tamil Nadu.
Having won the Dubakka assembly bypoll in Telangana recently, the party’s poll managers see better prospects in the 2023 assembly polls for which it is poised to use the upcoming Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation polls for which general secretary Bhupendra Yadav has been appointed in charge. Karnataka health minister K Sudhakar, Maharashtra MLA Ashish Shelar and Gujarat secretary Pradipsinh Vaghela will assist Yadav as co-in charges for the GHMC polls.
Home minister Amit Shah was in Chennai on Saturday to galvanise party cadres before the state assembly polls.
Alarmed over BJP’s full throttle effort to challenge his hegemony, TRS president and CM K Chandrasekhar Rao has announced to mobilise a pan-India front against BJP. He has already announced a grand meeting of parties opposed to BJP in Hyderabad after which a nation-wide campaign will be launched against the saffron party.
Till now, TRS had adopted a soft approach towards BJP, particularly on legislative business in Parliament. Barring a few occasions, TRS, which has five MPs in Rajya Sabha in nine in Lok Sabha, has been supportive of the government.
However, BJP seems ready to forego TRS’s support and sees the GHMC polls as an opportunity to prepare the ground for the 2023 assembly polls. The Dubbaka win has bolstered BJP’s confidence as the constituency was considered a stronghold of the KCR family.
The GHMC polls are politically significant as its jurisdiction spreads across four districts – Hyderabad, Rangareddy, Medchal-Malkajgiri and Sangareddy – which have 24 assembly and five Lok Sabha constituencies. After winning four LS seats in 2019 polls, BJP’s expectations have soared in Telangana. However, it is yet to make its presence felt in Tamil Nadu and it has started preparing for next year’s polls.