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BJP mulling new Chief for AP as 'social engineering' strategy fails in State

The BJP central leadership is likely to announce a new chief for its party unit in Andhra Pradesh in the next few days. Though sources in the party confirmed that a few names were under consideration, they did not reveal as to who would head the State party except that the new president would be someone who was ideologically rooted and could aggressively take forward the flock. 
 
This indicates that the party would not appoint any turncoat leader who defected to the saffron party in the last one year. 

“It is almost certain that there will be a new president and the discussions are in the final stage. It is just a matter of days before the announcement is made,” a national leader explained. Asked if the change would be made before the local body elections, the leader said, “It could even be in the next few days.”
 
Though the guessing game is on, those within the party noted that the likes of PVN Madhav, Somu Veerraju and Pydikondala Manikyala Rao have an edge as they qualify the ‘ideologically rooted’ condition and also have remained party loyalists. However, the national leader did not rule out the possibility of retaining the incumbent Kanna Lakshminarayana. 
 
“He worked hard. He can’t be blamed for the party’s performance as he took over in a difficult time,” he pointed out. For the record, Kanna was made the State BJP chief in May, 2018, in the aftermath of the fallout of TDP-BJP alliance. Despite a few issues within the party regarding his appointment in the beginning, Kanna managed to keep his flock together. However, as the party wants to fill the ‘void’ left by the TDP in AP politics, it is said to be looking for someone who can steer the State unit with a bit of a national perspective. 
 
Sources said that some senior leaders have also suggested the central leadership against social engineering as it would not fetch any advantage. “We had a president from Kamma community and then we had one from Kapu, but our performance in AP was one of the worst in the entire country. So, instead of social engineering, we suggested that we have a chief who can ideologically drive our party,” a leader said.
 
However, a few other leaders said that caste was an indispensable factor. “In States like AP where regional parties rule the roost, caste will be considered. Since we partnered with Pawan Kalyan, who is a Kapu, it is unlikely that we would have someone from the same community. So, either someone from Backward Classes or other castes which occupy dominant share in the voter demographic (Kamma or Reddy) may be picked,” a State leader surmised. This leaves PVN Madhav, a BC, D Purandeswari, a Kamma, as the most likely candidates. 
 

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