The eagerly-awaited Union Cabinet expansion effected on Sunday by Narendra Modi and the decision not to accommodate anyone from Telangana State is a clear indication that the saffron party would now focus on improving its strength in the new catchment areas as part of Amit Shah’s ambitiously chalked out ‘Mission 350+’.
Having notched up extraordinary electoral conquests in big north Indian states, the party, bolstered by this new-found equation, is apparently keen to reinvigorate strategies in such a way that it would emerge as a force to be reckoned with down South as also in the eastern States.
Shah, the party’s proven master strategist, is learnt to have cautioned his party leaders at every level that frequent surveys would be conducted to get a feel of the “pulse from the ground” and plans would be worked according to the relative strengths and weaknesses as an effective means to strengthen to either penetrate into newer horizons or consolidate the existing string bases.
Evidence of a shift in this strategy can be gleaned from BJP's recent major picks to consolidate the party's electoral standing and further its social engineering experiments. It has decided to make one central leader as in-charge of five Lok Sabha constituencies and the Assembly segments under it. Consequently, Ram Madhav will be in-charge of North Telangana while Narendra Tomar will look after South Telangana affairs.
Shah, saddened by the absence of a charismatic BJP state-level leader, who could take KCR head-on, has already rolled out a draft blueprint for the Lok Sabha elections, which he himself will oversee. The blueprint will have to be implemented by the State unit with leaders putting aside their petty ego-clashes.
“The approach should be ruthless,” he thundered in a tone that signaled that he would not spare the non-performers. The Telangana Vimochana Yatra, launched by BJP state president K Laxman, and which entered Hyderabad on Sunday, is said to be a curtain-raiser for the bigger things that are in the pipeline and which would unfold in the second fortnight or somewhere around September 17, which the local unit has demanded the State Government to officially declare it as Hyderabad Liberation day.
With the Cabinet reshuffle done and dusted and things having fallen in place, Ram Madhav would now be asked to devote his time on implementing political strategies in the State. The state BJP has cast its eyes on the TDP cadre, which is groping in the dark, as it does not have a leader who can pull them out of political wilderness. The BJP wants to take advantage of this and is said to be in the process of roping them into the party fold.
The TDP cadre being a disciplined party as compared to Congress, it feels that it would be easy to win them over. In fact a lot of behind the scene activity has been set in motion and that was the reason why many party leaders at the district level mustered the courage to tell the TDP Telangana unit executive committee that they would soon quit the yellow party.
So far so good!
But then there is one glitch which may delay the process of large scale migrations into the TBJP. While the TTDP leaders agree that the saffron party is better placed comparatively speaking, the main problem is that it is not willing to give the kind of assurances they want before they take the final plunge.
They cite the example of Politburo member Nagam Janardhan Reddy. He left TTDP and joined the BJP but lost all his importance and has been sulking for a long time. The saffron party has been encouraging only those who have been loyal to party and not the leaders or cadre who joined them later. Even Laxman is not in a position to give any clear assurance in this regard.
Unless the national BJP president resolves this issue, inflow from other parties will not begin. In fact, even the TRS wants to poach the TTDP rank and file but even they cannot offer any tangible assurances with regard to positions. “What is our future? Leaders like E Dayakar Rao who joined TRS have been relegated to the background,” is a common refrain of such aya rams and gaya rams.
“Yes, the doors are wide open, the army is ready to move in, but the big question is placement. We are not willing to be used as soldiers who fight and stay out in the barracks,” goes the orchestrated remark, much to the embarrassment of TRS and BJP managers.