Is Venkaiah Naidu Killing his Own Party?
Venkaiah Naidu might be a BJP leader at center but the party is worried that he is behaving like a caste leader in his state Andhra Pradesh. Venkaiah has been the major hope of BJP in AP since many years. Though Haribabu belonging to Venkaiah ‘s caste is the party chief, he is not very famous beyond Visakhapatnam. The status of party has deteriorated in the leadership of these two. BJP is now in a state that it could not even win a single set without tying up with TDP. Even before bifurcation, BJP has strength in Telangana but not in Andhra. Amit Shah has focused on improving this situation.
Since opposition in Navyandhra is weak and Congress has been washed away, BJP leaders think that there will be more chances of strengthening their party in the area. Also the TDP is for Kamma and YCP is for Reddy. So, Amit Shah estimated that it will be a great idea for BJP to get close to the Kapu community. So, Amit Shah has decided to appoint Somu Veerraju belonging to that community as the party chief in the state. However, some argue that if Somu Veerraju who directly criticizes TDP is made the party chief, the relations of BJP with the party will be ruined. Now, while the decision is almost made, some BJP leaders are adopting regional stand to stop Somu Veerraju from becoming the state ‘s chief of party. Leaders from Rayalaseema are pushing the government to either make one of the candidates of their region the party chief or continue the existing person. Some suspect that there is Venkaiah Naidu ‘s hand behind this pressure.
When both official opposition leaders are from Rayalaseema and BJP has no strong leader in Rayalaseema, demanding a candidate from the region to be made party chief is not out of affection for the party, say some senior leaders of the party. They believe that they are against Somu Veerraju in order to favour Chandrababu. Unable to decide on it, Amit Shah is now in dilemma. We have to wait a few more days to see whether they will make a weak person as party chief based on Venkaiah Naidu ‘s idea or they will choose Somu Veerraju for the post. Whoever might be the leader, the party will survive in AP if and only if the promises made in AP state division act are fulfilled. Otherwise, the scenario of BJP will be similar to that of Congress in the state.