Free to quit: BJP to rebels

Hyderabad: Continuing its aggressive stance against dissidents, the central leadership of the BJP on Thursday categorically told its leaders to work within the party framework or quit.

After the BJP stepped up its attack on the BRS, particularly during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meetings at Mahbubnagar and Nizamabad, the party spent time on Thursday to set its house in order.

Although delayed, the BJP's top leaders sent a strong message to state leaders whose infighting came out openly in the recent past. Worried over the new culture creeping into the party with the entry of leaders from other parties, B.L. Santosh, BJP general secretary, organisation, said the party would not change its way of functioning and it was high time that leaders take a call on whether to continue or quit. He warned of severe action against leaders pursuing politics with individual agendas.

In an unprecedented manner, BJP leaders had split into groups and made moves and counter-moves that ended with the replacement of state party chief Bandi Sanjay Kumar with Union minister G. Kishan Reddy. Though the dissidence subsided temporarily, party leaders started airing their views openly and leaders like Komatireddy Rajgopal Reddy even announced that they were ready to quit the BJP along with other senior members.

On the other hand, party MP Dr. K. Laxman, apparently taking a cue from the Prime Minister, claimed that Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao had offered to merge the then TRS with the Congress during the tenure of Y.S. Rajashekar Reddy.

According to him, Rao had approached the Congress high command in 2008 and proposed to stop the Telangana agitation to merge his party with the Congress if he was made Chief Minister. Rao made a similar proposal and took his family to meet Sonia Gandhi in 2013, Dr. Laxman claimed and accused Rao of indulging in opportunistic politics.

Meanwhile, Kishan Reddy announced that state council meetings would be held on October 6, with around 1,000 leaders set to attend. BJP national president J.P. Nadda will be the chief guest at the meeting which will decide the party’s future course of action.

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