BJP gearing up to fight TDP in 2019 Andhra election

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BJP MLC from Andhra Pradesh  Somu Veerraju.  Photo: Courtesy Twitter

Hyderabad: The Bhartiya Janata Party’s (BJP’s) Andhra Pradesh (AP) unit will form a new state committee in the next 10 days in preparation for the 2019 assembly and parliamentary elections, BJP national executive member and former AP cabinet minister csaid on Thursday.

Veerraju also said the BJP will also soon undertake a massive village-level campaign in Andhra to highlight the centre’s programmes, and challenge chief minister N. Chandrababu Naidu’s “model of development”.

Veerraju, who has been vocal in criticizing chief minister and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) supremo Naidu, said that once BJP’s new state committee is formed, the party will start working towards the 2019 elections after making a “blueprint”.

“We will take up a campaign from village to village as well and explain to people how the centre’s programmes have been implemented successfully in AP. Be it the Polavaram national irrigation project or other things, the centre has given a lot to the state,” said Veerraju, who is an MLC in AP’s legislative council.

The BJP’s campaign will be a direct challenge to Naidu’s development model which, Veerraju said, the chief minister talks about all the time. The TDP had undertaken an online campaign in Karnataka before the elections asking Telugu people in the state not to vote for the BJP.

To counter that, the BJP had sent leaders from both AP and Telangana to Karnataka. “The TDP’s campaign did not work. It means Telugu people are not against us and in fact voted for us,” said Veerraju.

After emerging as the single-largest party by winning 104 seats in the Karnataka election, the BJP’s next target in the south is likely to be AP, where it is looking to get stronger. As of now, the BJP has just four MLAs out of 175 in the AP assembly and two members of Parliament, seats it had won in a pre-poll alliance with the TDP before the 2014 state and parliamentary elections.

However, in March the TDP broke the alliance over issues of budgetary allotment and special category status after weeks of deliberation.

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