Photo exposes rift in BJP
Hyderabad: The internal bickering between Telangana BJP president G. Kishan Reddy and the party’s senior leader and Secunderabad Lok Sabha candidate Bandaru Dattatreya came out into the open on Friday.
Mr Dattatreya, who launched his election campaign on Friday, did not include the photograph of Mr Reddy on his campaign vehicle, but ensured that the photo of TDP chief N. Chandrababu Naidu, with whom the BJP has an electoral alliance, was prominently displayed.
Mr Reddy and Mr Dattatreya have been at loggerheads over the Secunderabad Lok Sabha ticket. Mr Reddy, who is the sitting MLA from Amberpet, was keen to contest from Secunderabad and had the backing of the RSS. But the party high command gave Mr Dattatreya the ticket.
Upset with this decision, Mr Kishan Reddy threatened not to contest at all, but then filed his nomination for the Amberpet seat at the last minute following directions from BJP national president Rajnath Singh.
Even after filing their nominations, the two top leaders did not patch up their differences as was evident with Mr Dattatreya excluding Mr Reddy from his election campaigns.
The issue became a subject of hot debate within the BJP; there were fears that the strained relations between the two top leaders in the city would have an adverse impact on the party’s poll prospects.
It is the practice for all candidates of all political parties to display the photographs of their party presidents when they campaign.
Mr Dattatreya displayed the photographs of BJP leaders Atal Behari Vajpayee, L.K. Advani, and Rajnath Singh as well as that of Mr Naidu on the top panel on his vehicle. Pictures of Narendra Modi and Mr Naidu again, were in the bottom panel. Interestingly, Mr Naidu’s photo was prominently displayed on all sides of the vehicle.
Conspicuous by its absence was the mug-shot of the party president Mr Kishan Reddy. Both men refused to comment on this issue when invited to do so.