Among the names that are doing rounds as possible replacement for Laxman are BJP MLC N Ramchander Rao, DK Aruna, and Nizamabad MP D Arvind
Hyderabad: In its bid to become the only alternative to the ruling Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) in Telangana, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is looking for a new face to lead the party in the state.
With internal elections set to be held in December, senior BJP leaders said a section of people within the party feel they need a new leader or state president to challenge TRS supremo and chief minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao (KCR), who is a popular and well-recognized leader.
The two-year term of BJP’s current Telangana president K. Laxman will end in the next few months, after which the party’s organizational polls will be held, said a BJP leader who did not want to be quoted.
Laxman has been with the saffron party right from the beginning of his political career. He was unable to retain the Musheerabad assembly seat in the 2018 state polls, during which the BJP won just one constituency out of the total 119. However, he was lauded during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections when the BJP won four seats in Telangana out of the total 17, including the prestigious Nizamabad constituency. The seat, previously held by K. Kavitha, KCR’s daughter, was won by BJP’s D. Arvind.
Some party leaders feel that we need a new face, especially to challenge someone like KCR, but another group feels that we should continue with Dr. Laxman as he now has a good grip on party affairs, and got us four seats in the Lok Sabha polls,” the BJP leader said.
In Telangana, the BJP is looking to push the Congress aside and emerge as an alternative to the ruling TRS, which has 103 MLAs, out of the total 119. The TRS won 88 seats in the 2018 polls, and later this year 12 Congress MLAs (out of 19) defected to the ruling parties along with three other opposition MLAs.
The TRS, which expected to win most of the 17 MP seats in the 2019 parliamentary polls, was reduced to 9, as the Congress won in three seats.
However, just before the Lok Sabha elections and after it as well, a handful of senior leaders from the Congress like former cabinet minister D. K. Aruna quit the Congress and joined the BJP.
Besides, several local leaders and cadre from the Telugu Desam Party (TDP), which has weakened in the state since bifurcation in 2014, also lost many of its leaders to the BJP recently.
Among the names that are doing the rounds as possible replacement for Laxman are BJP MLC N. Ramchander Rao, D. K. Aruna, and Nizamabad MP D. Arvind. “It is unlikely that an outsider like Aruna will be given charge, and Arvind is a first-time MP. So we will have to wait and see,” said BJP leader, who added that the party sees great prospects in the state from a national perspective.