Hyderabad, July 30: With Bihar back under its governance, BJP has received yet another shot in the arm in the run up to 2019 general elections and it has also sets its eyes on key states including Telangana.
Joining hands with Nitish Kumar once again to share power in Bihar is seen as a master stroke by BJP to add another state to the list of states ruled by NDA. As its spokesperson G. V. L. Narasimha Rao put it, the BJP has succeeded in weakening the opposition’s Grand Alliance.
Janata Dal (U) was a key partner of Grand Alliance and its exit has left the opposition in total disarray. The episode also dented the image of Congress and Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) as both BJP and JD (U) portrayed them as the supporters of corruption.
The turn of events in Bihar has further boosted the morale of the BJP. “We have almost all states under our rule. A few states remaining here and there will soon have our governments,” said Narasimha Rao, who believes a BJP ‘Tsunami’ will take many states including Telangana.
He believes Karnataka has already come under BJP fold. The party is confident of unseating Congress by getting two-thirds majority in the southern state, which is scheduled to go to polls in next few months.
With impressive performance in recent local body elections, BJP is sensing victory in Odisha, where polls are due in 2019. It already claims to be the main opposition, pushing Congress to the third place. Elections in West Bengal were held only last year but BJP claims to be giving sleepless nights to Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee. Here too, the BJP feels it is in the second position, relegating the left front to third place.
Among the states on BJP’s target list is India’s youngest state Telangana. Though the party has just five seats in 119-member assembly, it is confident of coming to power in 2019.
This confidence comes from the fact that BJP has done well in states where it had almost no existence. It came to power in states with huge majority where nobody was giving it a chance. The latest example is Uttar Pradesh, India’s biggest state where the party formed the government with record majority.
“In Telangana we have strong organizational base. We have capable leaders from state to booth level,” explains Narasimha Rao.
The BJP leaders feel that even in places where BJP had no organization, the party scored victories riding on the popularity of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and with the hard work of party president Amit Shah.
Many are not ready to believe that BJP can come to power in Telangana but the BJP leaders point out that it was the same situation in states like Assam and Uttar Pradesh.
“We have goodwill of people and to encash it will not take time. The mood at ground level will be seen near the elections,” says Narasimha Rao.
He ruled out K. Chandrasekhar Rao becoming Telangana’s Nitish Kumar for BJP. “We were working with Nitish Kumar for 17 years whereas in Telangana BJP alone can be an alternative to Telangana Rashtra Samithi by highlighting its anti-people policies,” he argued.
BJP leaders were not ready to interpret TRS chief’s support to BJP-led NDA on various issues including demonetization and in the elections for the posts of president and vice-presidents as his growing closeness with BJP.
They believe that TRS is extending support keeping in view the interests of the nation and the state. They interpret the support of TRS to the Centre and the latter’s assistance to Telangana as part of the Centre-State relations.
“This is not politics but part of constitutional mechanism in which the Centre and the state help each other,” explained Rao.
Congress is the main opposition party in Telangana but BJP leaders say Congress has no future in Telangana or in other states. The spokesman Congress reflect all negative values in politics like corruption, lethargy , support to Pakistani elements and to Kashmiri separatists.
Political observers do not rule out a truck between TRS and BJP. The situation may become clear next year after the results of assembly elections in few states.
KCR may be planning a master stroke in Telangana to retain the power by riding on Modi wave. He thus hopes to check the BJP from coming to power on its own.
BJP may also play its cards close to its chest. NDA has 33 partners and BJP is in power in many states in alliance with other parties. The party may be too happy to have TRS in its fold and add Telangana to the list of states under its governance.