BJP gears up for Munugode with “ground up” strategy

Deccan Chronicle.

Nation, Politics

BJP leader G. Vivek Venkatswamy. (ANI Photo)

HYDERABAD: Having pitched the upcoming bye-election in Munugode as its penultimate battle before the general elections next year, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is eager to unseat the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) from power in the state. As campaign activity picks up in the constituency, it hopes to outmatch the TRS.

As the actual campaign gets going, TRS is expected to deploy 86 of its MLAs to oversee its Munugode campaign on October 6, including ministers T. Harish Rao and K.T. Rama Rao. On the other hand, the BJP is betting that its ground-up approach will help it win the November 3 bypoll. 

The BJP is hoping that its message – development happens only with a bypoll – will resonate with the voters who are witnessing a sudden increase in government activity, such as the construction of roads, extending welfare schemes for Dalits, or officials reaching out to Aasara pension beneficiaries.

"One thing has become certain, and people have understood this clearly - Komatireddy Rajgopal Reddy's resignation was the catalyst for this sudden activity, and without his resignation, this constituency would still be ignored today," said G. Vivek Venkatswamy, the head of the BJP’s bypoll coordination committee.

Rajgopal Reddy, who is burning shoe-leather in the constituency, sounds confident of his victory, saying the people have understood the party’s message clearly. “This election is as much about Munugode’s pride as it is about ensuring development in the constituency. The people of Munugode understand development is only possible if they elect BJP,” he said. "We are not worried about the TRS leaders coming to Munugode since we are telling people just how Rajgopal Reddy single-handedly compelled the TRS leadership to come to Munugode,” Venkatswamy said.

The BJP's strategy, which includes bike rallies and booth level committee members, as well as other party leaders, is to have at least three touch points with each voter. “When the TRS leaders come, people will ask why there has been no such activity in Munugode for the past eight years," Venkatswamy said.

In order to make sure that ground-level party workers get the extra muscle, seasoned campaigners from Huzurabad and Dubbak, who helped BJP win over TRS during these two by-elections, are being recruited, along with some 'star performers' from Hyderabad who kept the BJP flag flying high in the GHMC council elections.  Not wanting to take any chances, the BJP is also bringing in its national political heavyweights, including party president JP Nadda and several Union ministers, for the campaign.

With motorbike rallies planned throughout all the villages of the constituency starting on October 7, the BJP will launch the campaign in earnest. It is said that Sunil Bansal, the national general secretary of the party, who led the strategy that helped Yogi Adiyanath win a second term in Uttar Pradesh, is thought to be a firm believer in such rallies that bring instant visibility of the party’s presence in every part of a constituency.

The party has already formed mandal-level committees, which have been tasked with forming booth-level committees, with whom state BJP president Bandi Sanjay Kumar, state party in-charge and BJP general secretary Tarun Chugh will meet on October 10.