Vijayawada: The Andhra Pradesh unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party has been facing embarrassing moments, with its leaders splitting into groups and openly batting for the interests of rival political parties or their leaders.
While a group of leaders has been branded as pro-Jagan Mohan Reddy government, another one is soft pedalling on Telugu Desam supremo N. Chandrababu Naidu.
The latest to join the club of supporters of “rich and influential” leaders belonging to other parties is Y. Satya Kumar, party national secretary of the state. Popularly known as Satya in party circles, Mr Kumar was associated for decades with M. Venkaiah Naidu till the latter became the Vice President of India.
In an interview with a vernacular daily, Mr Kumar came out in strong support of Narsapuram MP K. Raghuram Krishnam Raju against whom the YSR Congress served a show cause notice for his anti-party activities.
He ruled out the possibility of the Lok Sabha speaker disqualifying him as Mr Raju did not criticise the party president. He then went on to justify the comments made by Mr Raju and even announced that it was because of the BJP, not Mr Jagan Mohan Reddy, that the rebel MP became chairman of a Parliamentary committee.
Mr Kumar’s observations came as a surprise for BJP leaders as Mr Raju’s was an internal matter of the YSR Congress. “It is unwarranted and he (Mr Kumar) should not have interfered in the internal matters of another party. Are we trying to convey to people that the BJP will act with prejudice in Mr Raju’s matter?” said a party leader.
Earlier, the BJP MLCs P V N Madhav and Somu Veeraju openly extended support to the Chief Minister for introducing the three capitals Bill and the consequent mayhem in the Legislative Council.
Mr Madhav welcomed the decision to shift the capital to Visakhapatnam in sharp contrast to the anti stand taken by the party’s state leadership. Rajya Sabha MP Y S Chowdary was criticised for continuing to show loyalty to Telugu Desam supremo N Chandrababu Naidu even after joining the BJP.
“We had limitations to expand the party's base while in truck with the TD. Even after knowing that Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity is higher in AP than in several northern states, our leaders are more interested in protecting other’s interests instead of focusing on strengthening our party,” lamented a veteran BJP leader.