The stage is set for the BJP in Andhra Pradesh to play a big role, not because the party had improved its strength, but it had picked a leader who can challenge TDP and its chief Chandrababu Naidu.
Former minister Kanna Lakshminarayana took over the BJP reins in the State, a big scheme hatched by the BJP top leadership to take revenge on the TDP chief who betrayed them ahead of the crucial elections. Kanna is a popular face in the State and has strong base in the dominant Kapu community. A loyalist of late Vangaveeti Mohana Ranga in the coastal districts and a loyalist of late Y S Rajasekhar Reddy among the Congress cadre, Kanna had been a staunch critic of Chandrababu Naidu for several years.
Unlike the leaders of Somu Veerraju whose voice is heard only after the 2014 elections and that too after his election as MLC, Kanna had been there for three decades fighting against the TDP with his base in Guntur district. He also comes up with constructive criticism, acceptable even for his critics and not like the criticism of Veerraju, which is ridiculed as lose talk or foul mouth.
Having taken the charge of the BJP AP unit, Kanna is setting his weapons ready to aim at the TDP. The BJP leaders are up in arms against Chandrababu Naidu for enjoying the benefits of alliance for four years and turning as rival in the fifth year ahead of the election. For the BJP leaders, there was nothing for Chandrababu Naidu to blame them as he had agreed for the special package that was promised for the State in lieu of the special category status. Every decision with regard to the State was taken after due consultation of Chandrababu Naidu. Still, Naidu is blaming the BJP only for political mileage. This is what the BJP leaders believe and are set to counter the TDP boss.
Though Chandrababu Naidu projects BJP as betrayer, the BJP leaders feel that Naidu is the betrayer and Kanna is the best bet to beat him on the same line. Kanna, during an interaction with the media persons, had made up his mind on hitting back at Chandrababu Naidu. The strategy is clear. It is to expose the repeated statements of Chandrababu Naidu on special package and special category status and how he went back on his own words. Though people are aware of the U turns that Chandrababu Naidu had taken over the last four years on special package and special category status, this has to be explained to the people convincingly and Kanna has that convincing language.
For Chandrababu Naidu and his TDP leaders, Kanna is not an easy rival to ridicule. The TDP will have to face the onslaught in the days to come once the new BJP chief begins his attack.