Venkaiah Naidu’s Elevation Is True Lift For BJP In AP
Guntur: The four-decades of public life with Lok Nayak Jaiprakash Narayan first and then Jana Sangh and later Bharatiya Janata Party, Venkaiah Naidu scaled new heights step by step and is set to be the country’s new Vice-President. Though not a mass leader and does not have his own cadre, he wielded greater powers in the party and had complete command and control over the party affairs in the two Telugu States for all these years. Except for one or two leaders like Vidyasagar Rao and Dattatreya, he had control over the growth of the party and individual leaders in the two States.
In Andhra Pradesh, even after bifurcation he had enjoyed that command in the party and had used it to restrict the party’s growth, all for TDP’s advantage. He strongly believed that the growth of the BJP in AP would mean the fall of the TDP and he never allowed it. Even when BJP’s national president Amit Shah time and again said that the BJP would fill the political vacuum available in Andhra Pradesh with the fall of Congress, Venkaiah Naidu is said to have not given the chance to the party leaders to expand its base in the State. More: Is Venkaiah Naidu’s Shift As Vice-President Modi’s Masterstroke?
The continuation of his loyalist, Kambhampati Haribabu, as the party president in the State was the major hurdle he had created for the party to stay where it is. He did not allow the party national leadership to change Haribabu and crown Somu Veerraju or any other leader. The Kapus in the State have no platform and the BJP wanted to offer it here. Senior leaders like Kavuri Sambasiva Rao, Daggubati Purandheswari, Kanna Lakshminarayana, though new to the party, have made several attempts to really take the party to the people. But, it is said that Venkaiah did not allow them. In the last meeting of Amit Shah in Vijayawada a few months ago, there was visible opposition to Venkaiah’s hold which is helping the TDP. They have put up placards asking Shah to sever ties with the TDP and allow the party to grow in the State.
Now that Venkaiah is out of the party, the BJP leaders in AP who have been really dreaming of expanding the party’s base and strengthening it, are now in elated moods. It may not be too far when the party also drops Haribabu here and appoints a new one. That would mean BJP’s first step forward for its growth in the State and the first step backward for the TDP. The dissidents in the TDP are now looking at the BJP for support. While the Kapus in the State are ready to occupy the party and own it, the dominant Kammas too see it as their future, particularly after Chandrababu Naidu. More: A Move To Immobilize Venkaiah Naidu?
The Kamma leaders in the State feel that there is no strong leader in TDP to keep the party alive after Naidu and see BJP as the only alternative for them. The very presence of Kavuri and Purandheswari in the party also gives scope for the Kamma leaders to move towards the BJP and distance from the TDP.
It is thus the elevation of Venkaiah Naidu or rather his exit from the party, is seen as a greater opportunity for the party to grow in the State.