The BJP cadre in the State await the replacement of new president for the State unit. The party national leadership, which is busy with the Karnataka State Assembly elections, has not cleared the resignation by incumbent Kambhampati Haribabu. It is not known if Amit Shah had accepted the resignation yet.
Haribabu took over the BJP in Andhra Pradesh immediately after bifurcation, ahead of the 2014 elections. He played, along with M Venkaiah Naidu, a key role in building electoral understanding with the TDP and Jana Sena in the State. He was instrumental in the BJP in AP having the tie-up. He was also accused of not allowing the BJP to expand its base even in the places where it had won 2 MP seats and four MLA seats in the alliance. He was accused of being silent when the TDP leaders were obstructing the BJP’s membership drive in the State.
He is stamped as a pro-TDP man, more loyal to the TDP than Chandrababu Naidu himself. Majority people say that both Haribabu and Venkaiah Naidu believe that the TDP is the only and right source to the political power of the dominant Kamma community in Andhra Pradesh. It was this understanding that had kept him and Venkaiah Naidu close to the TDP and Chandrababu Naidu for all these years.
There are several options before the BJP national leadership to have a right replacement in Andhra Pradesh. The options start from former Union minister Daggubati Purandheswari to firebrand MLC Somu Veerraju. There are a couple of names like former minister Kanna Lakshminarayana and Rajamahendravaram MLA Akula Satyanarayana, being actively considered. In all probability, the choice is likely to be Somu Veerraju, a man with his roots in the RSS, the think tank of the BJP.
But, the announcement is likely to take some more time at least till the nomination process is completed in Karnataka. Though it would be too late for the BJP to go for the damage control exercise as the TDP is going at a greater speed projecting the BJP as betrayer and enemy of the Telugu people, the BJP has no option at this point of time other than to wait till Karnataka poll process. In the meanwhile, the Prime Minister’s Office is understood to have sent its Central Intelligence Bureau director to meet Chandrababu Naidu and his son Lokesh in Amaravati two days ago. Though what transpired in the office is not known, it is speculated that the Central IB chief had reportedly advised Chandrababu Naidu to be soft in his criticism of Prime Minister. The IB chief had also invited Chandrababu Naidu for talks with the Prime Minister once the Karnataka elections are over.
It is to be seen if Chandrababu Naidu would wait for a date with Narendra Modi or would go ahead with his plan.