State BJP president Bandi Sanjay Kumar. (Photo: DC)
HYDERABAD: The finish line is not yet in sight, or even set, but that has not stopped hopefuls in the BJP from attempting to stake claim to where they will contest from when the time comes for the Assembly elections. Though the party itself is viewing such throwing of the hat into specific rings as unnecessary diversions from the tasks at hand, this has not stopped hopefuls from making plans for specific constituencies.
But making plans to choose a constituency is not something that the BJP leadership is willing to let its leaders keep talking about. This became apparent after one such willingness to contest from a particular constituency, Gajwel, was made by BJP MLA from Huzurabad Etala Rajendar, who challenged Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao for a showdown in Gajwel.
While Rajendar may have had his reasons, particularly after he was unceremoniously shown the door from the TRS and his ministership, and his businesses became targets of government action, the former TRS minister’s publicly made plan to emerge as a leader to reckon with did not find the warm reception from the party leadership that he may have expected, party sources said.
Worried over potential squabbles at a time when he was legging it across the state through the Praja Sangrama Yatra, state BJP president Bandi Sanjay Kumar has made it repeatedly clear that while individuals may have their preferences, the final call will be of the party at the national level after it makes thorough assessment of pros and cons of each candidature and his or her suitability to a particular constituency.
Party sources said that talking about constituency preferences or selections from those eager to show that they can swing it for the BJP from the place of their choice is at present mere positioning for the future. But such talk has been ruffling feathers within the party as was the case when the former Karimnagar Zilla Parishad chairperson Tula Uma, who was with the TRS, and is now with the BJP, declared in July that she would contest on a BJP ticket from the Vemulawada constituency, which falls in Sanjay’s Karimnagar Lok Sabha constituency.
Even the BJP MPs from the state, whether it is Sanjay, Dharmapuri Arvind, Soyam Bapu Rao or Union minister G. Kishan Reddy, cannot be really sure where they will finally be fielded from for the Assembly elections, party sources said. Being seniors and MPs, they may have a better chance of getting their choice of the constituency, as the party is clear that all its MPs in Telangana will contest the Assembly elections. But, as Sanjay had put it at recent press meets or during private conversations with leaders, the final word will be of the high command.