The BJP’s decision to hold its national executive meet in Hyderabad was its declaration of war for Telangana against the TRS led by K Chandrashekar Rao (KCR). The party has put up huge circular hoardings with saffron flags on the circumference like petals on a sunflower. The stand-alone hoardings have been placed strategically on the sides of roads and near Metro pillars so that they aren’t missed. Multiple billboards attacking PM Modi have been placed strategically along the route the PM will take to the venue and on his return to the airport. The TRS is matching the blitz with hostility. One day before the meet, party president JP Nadda held a road show as a curtain raiser. 119 leaders of the party were dispatched to 119 assembly constituencies with an elaborate brief.
Workers were brought closer to Delhi and the BJP’s political mainstream by BJP officials. Workers were invited to band together and listen to PM Modi’s Mann ki Baat, not alone, but with workers from their own blocks. It explored how to strengthen booth-level organizations that provided dividends in places such as Uttar Pradesh. Notes were made in each booth about why the party lost the last time. Each leader was given a FAQ about the constituency to which he was assigned. This contained information regarding the constituency, such as what the BJP promised, what the Modi government delivered, and what the TRS promised but did not deliver. The compiled image from the ‘pravas’ (stay) will be presented to the national leadership as soon as possible.
HYDERABAD HIGH ON POLITICS
The grand finale of the meet will be an address by PM Modi at Parade Ground near Begumpet. The meet will kick-start with the traditional lighting of lamps and address by the party president. In attendance will be all the chief ministers of BJP-ruled states, cabinet ministers and top leaders. One of the key men to watch out for will be ex-CM turned deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis.
The BJP has feedback that Chief Minister KCR’s inaccessibility, his palatial bungalow as the CM’s official residence and the demolition of the state secretariat are becoming a factor on the ground. His son KTR and daughter are the gateways through which every file and decision has to pass. No MLA or minister is relevant, then there is entrenched corruption that is impacting the public. The saffron party plans to attack KCR for failing on all three fronts – funds, water and jobs. During the agitation for the separate Telangana state, KCR had raised the slogan ‘Nidhulu – Neellu – Niayamakalu’. The Rythu Bandhu scheme promised 10,000 assistance but there is no money. In last four-and-a-half years,190 farmers died by suicide.
In the 2020 GHMC election, the BJP came in second by grabbing 49 wards, while the TRS tumbled from 99 wards in 2016 to win only 56 out of the total 150. The success of BJP’s Operation Hyderabad meant KCR may need to rework the hierarchy and political work allocation even within his inner circle. To insulate his son KCR needs to raise the significance of old political hands of the party. The BJP is plotting a contest by expanding first in the urban areas of the state. Tarun Chugh, party in-charge of Telangana, accused KCR of not spending time in his office. He said: ‘We know how they spend their evenings and how colourful they turn’.
TELANGANA GROUND WORK
The BJP is attempting to establish deeper roots for its Hindutva agendas. A comprehensive effort to attract the key caste groups is also in the works. The party has organized 14 major community conclaves in the state’s metropolitan centres, including Tamilians, Punjabis, and Assamese. Senior officials, including CMs from BJP-ruled states, are anticipated to attend during their stay in Hyderabad.
BJP sees an opportunity in Telangana as there is a growing perception that the TRS needs to push the reset button on its image and messaging. It wants to exploit the perception among the public that TRS leaders have gained financially and become politically arrogant. The saffron party will target TRS over its leaders’ proximity to the AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi.