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Bandi stays BJP chief in Telangana despite changes in four states


Published on: March 23, 2023 | Updated on: March 23, 2023

BJP state president Bandi Sanjay. (DC Image)

HYDERABAD: Subdued speculation that has been making the rounds in the Telangana BJP about a possible leadership change, with it raising its head every now and then, was put to rest with the party not touching the state BJP president’s post amidst changes made to similar positions in four other states.

The party’s national president J.P. Nadda on Thursday announced new party presidents for four states including, New Delhi, Rajasthan, Odisha, and Bihar.

There were some hopes among some party leaders in Telangana state that the apparent differences between senior leaders and the at times visible lack of cohesion among them will result in a change in Telangana BJP leadership too.

Senior national BJP leaders, including party national general secretary and state party affairs in-charge had in the past said that Sanjay will continue as the party president in the state and will lead the BJP into the state polls later this year, and then into the Lok Sabha elections early next year. That Nadda did not touch Telangana in the party’s latest round of house-keeping, is proof again that Sanjay will be the BJP’s charioteer in the state in the foreseeable future, a senior party leader said.

The party’s decision to go along with Sanjay arises from its trust in his leadership that saw the BJP in Telangana emerge in a short period of just about a year as a major contender for power in the state. It was only on Wednesday that Sanjay was informed that Nadda gave a go-ahead to the state BJP president to make any changes in the state party executive as he deems fit.

Sanjay’s aggressive strategy undoubtedly won the party an unparalleled historic presence of 48 seats in the GHMC Council and created the foundation for a frontal challenge to the TRS for power in the 2023 Assembly elections. The saffron party was successful in establishing itself as the only alternative to the TRS thanks to a resounding victory in the GHMC elections in 2020 and subsequent electoral gains in the two Assembly bypolls in Dubbak and Huzurabad under Sanjay's leadership as the state BJP president.

Further, Sanjay’s Praja Sangrama padayatras gave the party a fillip and a hitherto unexplored outreach to the people. The party's successful conduct of 11,000 street corner meetings across the state in February worked in Sanjay's favour. These meetings were mandated by Sunil Bansal, the national general secretary  and in-change for organizational affairs of the BJP in Telangana, who used this strategy to get party leaders out into the masses in Uttar Pradesh, which is believed to have helped Yogi Adityanath-led BJP government return to power in the state for the second time.