Mission South: Amit Shah to visit Vijayawada, strengthen BJP in Andhra
BJP national president Amit Shah will be arriving in Vijayawada on August 28, as part of a three-day visit to take stock of his party’s affairs in Andhra Pradesh, and bolster it in the Telugu state.
The BJP chief’s announcement ahead of the looming Nandyal bye-election is raising eyebrows, with observers suggesting that the party maybe strategising a win for its ally, the ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP) in the state.
On Saturday, Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu reportedly made a phone call to BJP state president and Visakhapatnam MP K Haribabu seeking the party’s cooperation for the victory of the TDP in the upcoming bye-poll, The Hindu reported.
Haribabu is learnt to have pledged his party’s support to Bhuma Brahmananda Reddy, the TDP candidate for the Nandyal constituency.
During his visit, the BJP chief, who is considered a 'Chanakya' in politics, is expected to chalk out plans for the party to spread its wings in Andhra.
As part of his tour, Shah would be looking at the party’s progress in state, as an individual force. He is also likely to have talks with various groups to understand their problems and demands.
“He is likely to confer with the core committee and state office-bearers and elicit their opinions on making the party more visible in the state since it has not yet come out of the Telugu Desam's shadow,” a senior BJP leader, told The New Indian Express.
The BJP has just four members in the 175-member Andhra Pradesh Assembly.
Like his earlier tours, Shah may also dine with SCs and STs to attract them towards the BJP.
The BJP president might also discuss his party’s equation with Pawan Kalyan’s Jana Sena Party, who has been vocal about the issues of the Andhra people, including the demand for a special status for Andhra.
Pawan Kalyan has been maintaining his affiliation with both the BJP and TDP, but has been questioning both of them for failing to meet their promises to the state.
Amit Shah is on a 95-day nationwide tour to strengthen his party throughout the country. The tour began in Jammu and Kashmir earlier in April.