Telangana: Poaching ghost haunts political parties
BJP has already started luring leaders of other parties even before the poll notification is issued
Hyderabad: As the by-election to Nagarjunasagar Assembly constituency is already in sight, leading political parties in the State seem to be a tad skittish over possible poaching of their leaders and cadres ahead of the hustings.
Even before the poll notification is out, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has already begun luring the Congress workers, while the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) is eying to poach the BJP and the Congress leaders. The Congress leadership is trying hard to protect their cadre from the allurements by the two other major parties.
"The BJP is in touch with several Congress leaders in the constituency and is trying to convince them to join the party before the notification issued. Already a few followers of senior Congress leader and party candidate K Jana Reddy shifted their loyalties to the saffron party recently. Some more mandal level Congress leaders are likely to join the BJP at the time of poll campaign," a senior BJP leader from Nalgonda district said. He claimed the TRS was also trying to lure the Congress leaders, but the BJP was ahead of the ruling party. Some 'disgruntled' TRS leaders are also understood to be in touch with the BJP and expressed their willingness to join the BJP, the leader said, adding that the State party leadership had already chalked out an action plan to consolidate the party and emerge victorious like it did in Dubbaka by-election.
To counter the BJP's poaching politics, the TRS has roped in State Energy Minister G Jagadish Reddy and State Legislative Council Chairman G Sukhendar Reddy to lure the BJP and the Congress leaders into the party fold. A flurry of activities is expected soon in the constituency as several leaders from the two Opposition parties are getting ready to switch loyalties during TRS working president KT Rama Rao's visit to the constituency. The alerted Congress leadership began deliberations with the local leaders who prepared to join the BJP and the TRS. "The Congress' winning prospects in the by-elections are bright but the poaching politics by the rivals are worrying the leadership. Jana Reddy is taking every possible measure protect the cadre from leaving the party in the crucial time," a source said. Amid speculations that film actress-turned-political leader Viajayashanti will be the BJP candidate in the by elections necessitated following the untimely death of sitting TRS MLA N Narasimhaiah, the Congress and the TRS are making extra efforts by preparing a strong social media campaign during the poll campaign.