TBJP leaders leave cadre shell-shocked
The approach of the BJP members in the Winter Session of Telangana Legislative Assembly has created confusion among the cadre.
Has the Telangana unit of Bharatiya Janata Party (TBJP) changed its modus operandi and for worse? Has the political U-turn been to such obnoxious levels that instead of behaving like a determined opposition that is bent on taking on the government on public issues, they are supporting the TRS government, either intentionally or by default? These preposterous doubts are emanating in political circles across Telangana. And they are not without rhyme or reason. Such conclusions are gaining ground because of the manner the State leadership has been behaving, of late.
The approach of the BJP members in the Winter Session of Telangana Legislative Assembly has created confusion among the cadre. The party leadership had insisted prior to the commencement of the session that the entire opposition would collectively corner the government on various issues by mounting a no-holds-barred virulent attack and expose the government’s various claims. However, they seem to have chickened out or so some believe given that throughout the session they appeared to be supporting the government on every issue bar the proposed 12 percent reservation for Muslims, which, incidentally, is an unequivocal central leadership stance.
What was surprising was the changed attitude of the party floor leader G Kishan Reddy, whose aggressive participation in the debates earned him respect, particularly for spitting venom at the ruling party whether it was Congress or TDP in power in the undivided Andhra Pradesh. He is giving indications of having mellowed down in the House. The cadre is dreading that his going soft, and even praising the government, is an unthinkable change-of-heart that could prove detrimental in the long run. The noticeable change in the attitude of the TBJP towards TRS has come to the fore since the November 8 nationwide launch of the demonetisation drive. Presently, it looks like both are on the same side of coin.
The TRS chief Chandrasekhar Rao is supporting Prime Minister Narendra Modi and perhaps as a ‘thanksgiving gesture’ the BJP MLAs are backing KCR. It has been so unabashed that whenever Congress members raise their voice against the Treasury benches, the BJP members seemingly come to their rescue. It is ditto outside the august House too.
BJP’s soft-corner has raised many eyebrows. In fact, this issue was raked up by the party leader Nagam Janardhan Reddy at the party’s State Executive meeting in Bhadradri. He had expressed his dismay that the party members were silent when the Chief Minister used harsh language and even when he warned Prime Minister Narendra Modi about launching a ‘T’ type movement if the Centre zeroed in on gold owned by women.
Though TBJP boss Dr K Laxman sought to put an end to the uncertainty created among BJP cadre and also in the public eye by reaffirming that the party would go it alone in all 119 constituencies in the 2019 elections. Virtually endorsing the opinion and even adding verve, Union Minister Hansraj Gangaram Ahir called upon the TBJP to strive to increase its seats to 100 from the existing five, which, he said, could achieved by adopting an overly aggressive posture against the State government.
This is even as the fact remains that at the ground-level, the TBJP has maintained a stoic silence on issues like fee reimbursement, two bed room housing scheme and other such promises which are yet to gain momentum. There have been innumerable promises by the State Government, although there is an absence of a delivery mechanism. Unfortunately, the opposition has so far failed to play its role effectively. By hanging on only to one issue of what it calls appeasement policy will not help cut ice with the people.
In fact, this gives credence to the overwhelming belief among the people, as charged by TTDP, that TBJP and AIMIM were running the government, albeit from behind the scenes. What the rank and file of TBJP feels is that the party leadership was not launching an offensive against the government for its failure to fulfill the poll promises.
If it remains a silent spectator and does not evolve strategies to go aggressive then they can simply forget increasing the tally. As things appear, it will be a herculean challenge to retain the present strength. This is what is being predicted by the doomsday soothsayers. The cadre is hoping that the State leaders would draw up workable strategies and ensure that the identity of the party would not be marginalized because of the ‘soft’ leaders, who are presently steering the BJP ship in Telangana State.
By V RAMU SARMA