Why BJP bigwigs are campaigning in GHMC elections

Why the BJP bigwigs are campaigning in a city body elections in Telangana

BJP leaders see the 2020 Hyderabad polls as their grand archway to the 2023 Telangana assembly arena

Amit Shah, J P Nadda and Yogi Adityanath. Credit: DH Collage

This is the first time the BJP national president is participating in a civic body election campaign, a senior Telangana BJP leader claimed, while putting together names of the prominent personalities in the party and central government descending on Hyderabad this week.

Maharashtra former Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday, party chief J P Nadda is coming on November 27, Uttar Pradesh CM Yogi Adityanath on 28th and Home Minister Amit Shah on the 29th.

And two days later – on December 1 - are the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation polls, for which the state BJP leaders are already engaged in a fierce electioneering bout with the TRS.

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While Union Minister of State for Home Kishan Reddy is the homeboy, two senior BJP ministers – Prakash Javadekar and Smriti Irani, and the BJP's youth wing chief Tejasvi Surya have already toured Hyderabad, launching a blistering attack on “the Kalvakuntla family rule in the state, gross mismanagement over city's floods and the TRS-AIMIM cooperative letting the refugee Rohingyas, illegal immigrants, vote.”

With its ceaseless political attacks on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and counterattacks on the BJP from the last several days, analysts say, the ruling party in Telangana state and Hyderabad corporation has admitted in practice what it denies verbally – the BJP's emergence as its main rival in the polls.

Opinion polls, T-BJP's own analysis shows that the party would fare impressively in the civic polls, compared to the four out of total 150 GHMC wards it won in 2016.

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So, what is the arrival of the saffron party's luminaries in a city civic body's poll scene for?

“To further galvanize the cadres in taking ahead the momentum gained by the party in the state with the Dubbaka bypoll victory,” Ramchander Rao, BJP executive committee member and party's Hyderabad chief, tells DH.

CM Kalvakuntla Chandrasekhar Rao's TRS, which evolved from agitation to administration in 2014, and has become invincible since then was humbled for the first time by the BJP, which wrested the TRS held seat in its bastion. It was the second time if we consider the 2019 defeat of KCR's daughter Kalvakuntla Kavitha in Nizamabad and winning of three other Lok Sabha seats by the BJP in a state, where its assembly tally had fallen from five to one, six months back.

The general election triumph was largely because of Modi's nationwide charisma, but the Dubbaka assembly success is attributed to the state unit's rigour in turning resentment against the TRS to BJP's favour.

The unexpected result has the party leadership's attention turned on Telangana, while it simultaneously strategizes for the assembly polls in neighbouring Tamil Nadu next year.

BJP leaders see the 2020 Hyderabad polls as their grand archway to the 2023 Telangana assembly arena. The GHMC jurisdiction covers a whopping 24 assembly constituencies i.e. 20 per cent of total seats.

With the Congress party seen as falling into disarray, the BJP realizes this three year time as its opportunity to advance in Telangana. “Our fight in Hyderabad elections, irrespective of the success rate, is to concretely fix 2023 assembly elections as the target to assume power in Telangana,” a senior BJP functionary says.

While the T-BJP leaders state their top leaders' presence would boost the karyakartas' morale, with a bonus of national attention on their disclosure of TRS's alleged corrupt rule, analysts believe the stalwarts agreed to come as the civic polls guarantee to display BJP's gains in seats and vote percentage.

Ramchander denied reports claiming that Modi might also canvas for BJP in the Hyderabad polls.