Here’s why BJP needs to come clean in AP

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which is growing aggressively to fulfill its “Akhand Bharat” goal in India has set its sights on Andhra Pradesh now. The recent meeting of the BJP High Command with local leaders in AP is an indication of its next move.
The Tirupati parliamentary constituency has three assembly segments from Chittoor, and four segments from Nellore. It also shares a border with Tamil Nadu. The BJP had won Tirupati in 1999 in partnership with the TDP, and in 2014, it ranked second after the YSRCP. 
Following an unpredictable win in the GHMC elections in Telangana for which it campaigned aggressively, the BJP cadre is now looking at winning the Tirupati by-election, following the death of YSRCP MP B. Durga Prasad Rao. The saffron party is looking at this by-election as its entry point into Andhra Pradesh votebank, on the lines of its prestigious Dubbaka bypoll win that took place in Telangana. 
By choosing the temple town, the BJP has strategically given a religious hue to its agenda which is “to save Tirumala, we have to win Tirupati.” Given that there are allegations and rumours that conversions to Christianity have become rampant in Jagan’s rule and there is misappropriation of TTD funds in the YSRCP government, the BJP will use this issue to stir Hindus in the state. 
But, the BJP needs to come clean on two things: 
  1. The Capital Issue: The local leaders of BJP are saying that they support Amaravati as the Capital and the state can have only one capital. But, the BJP High Command in Delhi has a different word — it says it will not interfere in YSRCP government’s decision of the three capitals. What that also means is an indirect approval for three capitals, leaving the state in a gamble. Therefore, the BJP needs to first clarify its stand on capital issue and then sanction funds for its completion.
2) Polavaram project: The Polavaram project is lifeline for the state of Andhra Pradesh. The BJP’s lack of central funds for the project despite making promises still remains a question. Given that local leaders from the BJP also lack the might to push the High Command for funds, it needs to clarify its stand on this too.
The people of Andhra are already seething with anger against the BJP for destroying the state’s future and that was also visible in the GHMC elections where Seemandhra voters of Hyderabad voted against the BJP, for the TRS. This negative sentiment against the saffron party has increased further as AP’s BJP leaders seem to be least bothered about questioning the High Command for central funds. 
These double standards and BJP’s outbursts at the current Opposition, TDP, are further worsening the party’s chances in the state. Coupled with this is the lack of aggressiveness or enthusiasm among BJP leaders in AP. 
Unlike the Telangana BJP unit which seemed determined and was on its feet during campaigning along with a clarity on issues, the AP BJP unit seems like a drab, old, boring set of “Yes-Men” who give contradictory statements every other day. The AP BJP leaders are unable to defend themselves even on TV debates and are being publicly questioned about the Centre’s and their own contradictory stands. 
Additionally, by now pushing the Jana Sena not to contest the Tirupati by-election, the BJP is suppressing another regional party and its chances in the Telugu states. Like we had opined earlier, Jana Sena could actually use its chance to bargain for Capital and Polavaram issues from the BJP and should have contested the bypoll individually.
But, by giving in to the BJP’s demands, it is clearly bowing way too much. Going by these demands of the BJP, it is clear that it doesn’t want other parties to survive in the political environment it is creating across the country. Also, the BJP’s strategy of criticising the TDP seems to be misplaced. If it really wants to become the main Opposition in Andhra Pradesh, then it needs to focus on YSRCP government’s misdeeds rather than focussing on an Opposition party that doesn’t really have much to do in the current political environment that is rife with lawlessness and extortion! 

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