Telangana Assembly election 2023: BJP manifesto preparation shrouded in secrecy

Telangana Assembly election 2023: BJP manifesto preparation shrouded in secrecy

The BJP’s election manifesto is expected to be released during the visit of Union Home Minister Amit Shah to Hyderabad towards the weekend, but members of the manifesto committee themselves are clueless about it.

In the past few days, it was said that the ‘people’s manifesto’ is ready after having held discussions with various stakeholders. However, party sources informed that the committee have not met after its chairman and former MP Vivek Venkatswamy quit the party.

“The manifesto committee met only once where the details of the last election manifesto was shared among the members. But, after that there has been no full-fledged meeting to discuss the contents. There has been no meeting after Mr.Venkataswamy resigned and joined the Congress,” a source claimed.

But, senior leaders affirm that the draft has been finalised, sent to the central leadership for clearance and that the manifestos for the five Assemblies going to polls are being released one by one. If the manifesto preparation has been shrouded in secrecy, the old-timers are bristling over being ignored during ticket distribution with the newest entrants making the cut.

The classic case of former Governor K. Vidyasagar Rao’s son, Vikas Rao, managing to literally ‘snatch’ the Vemulawada ticket from party’s election campaign committee chairman Eatala Rajender’s close follower Tula Uma at the very last minute after her name figured in the official list released (she has now joined BRS), is symptomatic of the confusion among the rank and file.

Central leaders had intervened and gave an earful so that the veteran party stalwart is not embarrassed even if Mr.Rajender was unhappy at the turn of events. This was one instance where the old-timers’ clout prevailed; otherwise, it has been a crushing disappointment especially within the city and Rangareddy district considered the party’s bastion.

To give a few examples – former GHMC floor leader B. Shaymsundar Goud has been an aspirant for Sanathnagar constituency but it was given to former Minister Marri Shashidhar Reddy who moved from the Congress. Deshpande Rajeshwar Rao was denied the ‘B’ form and it was given to P. Raju at the last minute in Sangareddy. In Medak, P.Vijaykumar was given ticket over claims by Janardhan Reddy.

Mr.Kishan Reddy’s prime follower B. Venkat Reddy quit after he realised he was not getting Amberpet constituency. The ticket was given to former Minister C.Krishna Yadav, a bugbear for the saffron party from his student days as if to add insult to injury.

Same goes with tickets issued for Jubilee Hills (L.Deepak Reddy), Secunderabad (Sarangapani), Medak (Vijaykumar), Chevella (K.S. Ratnam) Ibrahimpatnam (Dayanand Goud) and others. In fact, none of the nine seniors of erstwhile Rangareddy district were accommodated despite meeting the bigwigs and no effort was made to ‘counsel’ them.

Old-timers and cadre also seem determined not to do a repeat of the Munugode bypoll ‘mistake’. “The cadre gave it their all for Komitireddy Rajagopal Reddy and were gutted to see him jump ship and contest from the Congress this time. Ticket aspirants among veterans are disappointed but will be loyal to the party. It was easier to blame the major alliance partner like Telugu Desam Party earlier not now. But, make no mistake, there is an unease among the cadre about plunging headlong wholeheartedly into the campaign for the contesting newcomers,” said a senior leader.

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