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‘What a shame’, KTR reacts to Andhra BJP’s promise of liquor at Rs 75

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“Wah… What a scheme! What a shame!” — is how TRS working president K.T. Rama Rao reacted to Andhra Pradesh BJP chief Somu Veerraju’s promise of cheap liquor at Rs 75 if BJP is voted to power in the state.

Addressing a public meeting at Vijayawada on Tuesday, Veerraju had also said that if the state’s revenues improve, the government will further bring down the price to Rs 50.

“Wah… What a scheme! What a shame. AP BJP stoops to a new low,” tweeted Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) working president and state minister K.T. Rama Rao, popularly known as KTR, on Wednesday.

Somu Veerraju had said during his speech that one crore people who consume alcohol should vote for the BJP in 2024 and get cheap liquor for Rs 75.

“If the revenues are good, we will give it for only Rs 50,” he said.

“Is it the national policy of the BJP to supply cheap liquor at Rs 50, or is this bumper offer only for states where the desperation is ‘high’,” asked KTR, who is the son of Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao.

Meanwhile, YSR Telangana Party leader Y.S. Sharmila also joined the issue by reacting to KTR’s tweet.

“BJP is for cheap liquor. TRS is for costly liquor, liquor everywhere, liquor anytime, loot in the name of liquor, make people & youth addictive to liquor. Throw women safety aside, force sell liquor. Liquor next to school, liquor in every village. Blood sucking liquor & leaders,” Sharmila tweeted, tagging KTR.

Sharmila is the younger sister of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy.

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Stunned state BJP leaders go silent after Modi withdraws 3 farm laws

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There was a stunned silence in the BJP over the sudden decision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to withdraw the three farm bills. Top BJP leaders of Telangana, state president Bandi Sanjay and Union Minister G Kishan Reddy, who were in an internal meeting with the RSS top brass, were shocked to know about the PM’s announcement. They rechecked and confirmed about the repeal of the three farm laws.

Once it became clear that the farm laws were indeed repealed, they fell silent. No major leader visited the state party office on Friday. No one was available at the party office to answer the media queries. Leaders like Eatala Rajender and Raghunandan remained confined to their residences and refused to meet the media. KIshan Reddy, Bandi Sanjay and Premender Reddy were busy in the RSS meet held on the outskirts of the city.

Meanwhile, internal sources said that there were strict instructions from New Delhi to the state unit not to react to the development. The state leadership was reportedly told to remain silent. As a result, all the spokespersons remained unavailable to comment on the development. The state party office, which was a beehive of activity, has suddenly fallen silent. Except for a few employees, no major leader visited the office.

There is utter confusion in the party over Modi’s sudden announcement. For many party leaders, who till recently defended the bills, it was a shock. Many leaders were wondering as to why Modi, who never rescinded any decision so far, has taken back the three farm laws.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Does BJP have no interest in Andhra Pradesh?

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Has the BJP national leadership given up on Andhra Pradesh? Does AP no longer figure in its plans? This is the question that is being asked now especially after the new national executive committee was constituted. The central leadership has given minimal representation to the party in the newly-constituted national executive committee. It is as if AP is a useless sixth finger.

The BJP national leadership seems to feel that Telangana is politically more fertile. Hence the representation given to Telangana is much more compared to AP. The national executive committee has 80members and 50 special invitees. Earlier, AP had two representations – state president Somu Veerraju and former president K Haribabu. Haribabu has now become governor. So, at least two new faces were expected.

However, the BJP national leadership chose only one person – Kanna Lakshminarayana. Telangana has four members. Besides, Vijayasanthi is a special invitee. Significantly, none of the three Rajya Sabha MPs were given any post. Sujana Chowdary, TG Venkatesh and CM Ramesh, whose Rajya Sabha term would end next year, have not been given any post. Another Rajya Sabha MP – GVLNarasimha Rao – is no longer the national spokesperson of the party.

As a result, AP is bereft of proper representation in the BjP national team. Though national party headquarters incharge Ravindra Raju and parliamentary party secretary Kamarsu Balasubramanyam are Telugus from AP, their role is essentially behind the screens.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

What does Kanna Lakshminarayana’s elevation mean for AP BJP?

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Finally at long last, the national leadership of the BJP has rehabilitated former state president and former minister Kanna Lakshminarayana. He has been made a member of the party’s 80-member national executive. This is being seen as a significant recognition of his importance in the party and especially in Andhra Pradesh.

Kanna was unceremoniously removed as the president over some internal issues. His pro-Amaravati stance too did not fit into the party’s overall tacit support to YS Jagan’s three capitals plan. Also, there were issues relating to election spending. Soon after removal, Kanna became inactive. It is only recently that he has become active in the party programmes.

Sources feel that the national leadership has realised the importance of Kanna in the changed circumstances. The party’s relationship with Pawan Kalyan’s Jana Sena is considerably strained and Somu Veerraju despite belonging to the same social group, is being found to be inadequate in conducting business with Jana Sena. Hence the party feels that Kanna Lakshminarayana could play a pivotal role in mending relations with Pawan. Also, Kanna is considered to be more aggressive and politically savvy. Kanna is also likely to be sent to Uttar Pradesh as an observer, said internal sources. This would give him a wider exposure and a bigger role in the party.

Along with Kanna, former MPs Vivek Venkata Swami, Garikapati Mohan Rao, AP JItender Reddy and minister G KIshan Reddy too have been made executive committee members. Actress Vijayasanthi and former minister Eatala Rajender have been appointed as special invitees to the national executive committee. Already DK Aruna, D Purandeswari and Y Satyakumar have been appointed as the vice president, general secretary and secretary respectively.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Rumour mill abuzz over change of guard in AP BJP

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Is the BJP national leadership mulling a change of guard in Andhra Pradesh? Is Somu Veerraju on his way out as the AP BJP president? Is the BJP national leadership unhappy with the way Somu Veerraju is handling the situation in the state? The political class is abuzz with stories about Somu Veerraju being shown the door.

Somu Veerraju was made the party president after Kanna Lakshminarayana had failed to improve the party’s performance in the state in the 2019 elections. There were complaints of collusion with the TDP against Kanna Lakshminarayana. The BJP national leadership was also said to be unhappy with Kanna Lakshminarayana’s stand on the Amaravati issue. There were also allegations of financial improprieties against Kanna Lakshminarayana. So, the BJP brought in party loyalist and Kapu leader Somu Veerraju as the party president.

However, the party national leadership is said to be of the opinion that Veeraju did not match up to expectations. He took a long time in finalising his district level teams. He has also been accused of alienating some powerful communities in the state through his excessive emphasis on one social group. If sources are to be released, BJP national president JP Nadda did not give an appointment to Somu Veerraju in recent times.

Meanwhile, the footfalls of party senior leader and deputy organising secretary Shiv Prakash Singh have increased in AP. He has been visiting the state regularly and is said to have warned the party leadership to buck up and get into the act. Though his tough words created a sensation in the AP BJP, the top leaders though shaken were not stirred.

Sources say that the party is seriously mulling bringing back Kanna Lakshminarayana. Kanna was quite pro-active and toured the whole state several times to reactivate the party. Sources also revealed that even the name of former minister Adinarayana Reddy is doing rounds. The party is also seriously considering appointing someone from Rayalaseema region as both the TDP and the YSRCP are led by the leaders from Rayalaseema.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

What’s behind K Haribabu’s sudden elevation as Mizoram Governor?

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Why was Kambhampati Haribabu, the old BJP warhorse, made a governor in the latest reshuffle? This question has surprised many. Haribabu has been in hibernation ever since he was replaced by Kanna Lakshminarayana and has not been heard for quite a while. Yet, the gubernatorial post has fallen into his lap.

It is another thing that he has been made a governor of a very small state like Mizoram. But, governorship is governorship. Even as congratulatory messages are flooding him, questions are being raised as to why the Modi-Shah duo picked Haribabu for the coveted post.

Sources say his loyalty to the party has counted a lot in the selection. Haribabu stood by the party during the partition of the state and afterwards. Even when the BJP-TDP relations became worse, Haribabu did not make even a single adverse comment and followed the party line. When he was asked to standby to allow Daggubati Purandeswari to contest from Vizag in 2019, Haribabu obliged without a murmur. He also worked for her in the elections. Even after Kanna and Somu Veerraju became presidents of the BJP, he steadfastly remained in the party and attended all the programmes without fail.

But, some people say that Kambhampati has been rewarded for his close association with vice-president M Venkaiah Naidu. Kambhampati has always been a Venkaiah Naidu associate. They were together during the Jai Andhra agitation of the 1970s. The association continued all through and Venkaiah has made him an MP and then the party chief. Sources say that Venkaiah may have pulled all stops to get this post for Haribabu.

But one thing is quite clear. This is a pre-retirement promotion for Haribabu. After a governorship, the politician usually retires gracefully. For instance, V Rama Rao, Ch Vidyasagar Rao and few others were retired this way. Bandaru Dattatreya too is likely to retire from active politics after his stint in Haryana. Even Haribabu may have to do the same.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Is AP BJP going into attack YSRCP mode?

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Is the Andhra Pradesh BJP changing? For the first ever time after 2019, the AP BJP has become vocal against the ruling YSRCP government. The party leaders slammed the YSRCP government on various issues such as failure in Covid control, non-payment of ex-gratia, political violence and even the tardy pace of Polaravaram works.

This is perhaps the first time when the BJP adopted a strident attitude towards the YSRCP government. All these years, the BJP was ambivalent and glossed over the failures of the Jagan Mohan Reddy government. But, this time the party’s internal meet held in Vijayawada’s state headquarters saw leader after leader targeting the Jagan government. This is a welcome departure, say observers. They feel the local leaders may have changed tack due to diktats from the Central leadership.

What is interesting is that the leaders also did not criticize the TDP and Chandrababu Naidu. The leaders, including Somu Veerraju and GVL Narasimha Rao were very vocal against the Jagan Government and its policies. While one does not know if this is going to be a constant feature or just one-off incident. But, party insiders feel that it is time that the BJP should start attacking YS Jagan Mohan Reddy government.

While this is a welcome augury, the BJP backers feel that the party should be more strident and should take up people’s issues. They say that issues like Ayodhya and Jammu Kashmir will not resonate in Andhra Pradesh, where local issues occupy prime place in the political discourse. They feel the BJP in Andhra Pradesh should take up local issues of importance if it wants to grow into a credible force.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

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