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BJP may not really win hearts in AP despite having numbers

Ever since the YSR Congress won with a thumping majority in the Andhra Pradesh Assembly elections, the route for Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) foray into the state has been cleared. In fact, YSR Congress forming the government not only means that the party openly supports the Reddy as well as Christian communities as widely known, it also gives the BJP a reason to polarise people on the basis of Hinduism. 
 
Over the past few days, the developments in Andhra Pradesh, over Telugu Desam Party MPs joining the BJP and submitting a request to merge the party in BJP in Rajya Sabha, signal towards the BJP’s larger plans for Andhra Pradesh. While the saffron brigade is engineering all its efforts targeting Telangana in its current phase, this is set to expand to Andhra Pradesh soon as it continues to poach TDP leaders. Further, this is also a warning shot for the YSRCP as some of its MLAs too could fall prey to BJP’s gimmicks.  
 
However, the entry of former TDP MPs Y.S. Chowdary (Sujana Chowdary) and CM Ramesh into BJP have rubbished the party’s claims of fighting corruption. Both these MPs have been facing CBI cases and have constantly alleged harassment by the BJP High Command before the assembly elections. Now, both seem to be claiming that they are “clean.”
 
Firstly, the BJP needs to remember that before elections it already had former Congress bigwigs from the state such as Daggubati Purandeswari, Kanna Lakshminarayana, Kavuri Sambasiva Rao and others. Yet, it couldn’t make a single deposit in the recently concluded Assembly elections in the state. Secondly, the BJP’s poaching could win the party numbers but it may not win voters as the state has either always favoured a regional party or Congress while the BJP could never influence the state on “religious lines.” 
 
Thirdly, given that the current BJP High Command, especially the Modi-Shah duo, is known to be hostile towards Telugu states, it may not be possible for the people of Andhra Pradesh to believe that the state could get much help from the BJP. This could in fact turn out to be counter-productive unless the Centre commits to granting Special Category Status to Andhra Pradesh. 
 
While the BJP is making its best efforts to ensure that it creates a perception that the Telugu Desam Party will cease to exist and that it can make a breakthrough in Andhra, the saffron party needs to be careful as voters in Andhra Pradesh or most of the Southern states have always chosen regional parties over national parties. 

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