Hyderabad: While more Congress leaders are increasingly given to insecurity over their future, the Bharatiya Janata Party is having a field day in its recruitment drive, given the growing perception that the saffron party can alone challenge and defeat the TRS in the state. Several congress senior leaders, including former ministers and MPs, are already in a queue to join the BJP, whose fortunes are on a clear ascendency since the Dubbak bypoll.
In the last one week, two important leaders of Congress joined the BJP. Medchal district president and former MLA Kuna Srisailam Goud and Adilabad district leader, who contested from Kagaznagar Palvai Harish Kumar the joined BJP in presence of Telangana BJP party affairs in-charge Tarun Chugh.
The BJP welcomed these leaders from the Congress as it has been since Dubbaka and GHMC elections.
With the graduate MLC election process ongoing, the BJP has decided to catalyse this attrition and speed up its recruitment drive of leaders from other parties. The BJP is currently focused on Congress, its principal opponent at the national level. If BJP succeeds in demoralising the Congress in the state, it anyway becomes the de facto challenger for the TRS for the next assembly election.
With several former ministers and MPs having already joined BJP, and more in queue, the BJP can now afford to get selective and is focusing on leaders with a good public image.
BJP national vice-president DK Aruna has invited several leaders, including a former deputy chief minister, a former minister and a spokesperson of Congress to quit and join the saffron party. The former deputy chief minister reportedly wants a guarantee of the Zaheerabad Lok Sabha ticket while the former minister is seeking a surety for his past assembly segment.
BJP senior leaders shared that former MLA of Medchal Kichennagari Laxma Reddy and former Member of Parliament Konda Vishveswar Reddy also are in touch with the BJP party but both leaders are asking for the Chevella Lok Sabha seat. The discussion is going on inside the party on how to handle such contenders with similar claims.
The BJP is likely to give importance for Dalit leaders, a community which has got neglected in the Congress and is angry with the TRS for not fulfilling various promises.
Rumours are abound in Congress that its Hyderabad MP candidate and Nampally in-charge Feroz Khan is likely to join the BJP. Sources say that party president Bandi Sanjay Kumar interacted with Feroz Khan twice and asked him to join the BJP.
From the districts, Adilabad former MP Ramesh Rathod and Nirmal former MLA Yeleti Maheswar Reddy are likely to join BJP in a few days. Both leaders are from Congress and had contested in the last elections.
Congress party Mahila wing president Nerella Sharada is also likely to leave the Congress due to group rivalries. Mruthyunjayam, a former Congress leader who recently joined the BJP, is reportedly in touch with Nerella Sharada and is trying to woo her into the BJP.
A former TRS MP from erstwhile Nalgonda district is also seeking to join the BJP due to the party not giving any importance to him, after he lost the Lok Sabha elections. If he leaves, the constituency-level and second-level leaders are likely to go along with him into the BJP.