Telangana BJP's lone MP and senior leader Bandaru Dattatreya may have to retire from politics to accommodate others. According to state BJP leaders, the national leadership is keen to give the Secunderabad Lok Sabha seat held by him to former BJP state president, G Kishan Reddy who has been eyeing the seat since 2014.
Speaking to TNM, Kishan Reddy suggested that he is willing to contest from Secunderabad constituency. “The party leadership is deciding on it. I will abide by their decision," he said.
Reddy unsuccessfully attempted to take the Secunderabad Lok Sabha seat from the clutches of Dattatreya in 2014, who has been contesting from the constituency since 1991. However, as Dattatreya was firm with his decision, the BJP finally relented and offered the seat to the senior leader. But the party had made it clear that they won't give him another opportunity as the BJP under Amit Shah had brought in a policy to promote younger leaders.
Dattatreya who had faced consecutive defeats in the 2004 and 2009 elections pulled off a massive victory against rival Anjan Kumar Yadav of the Congress with a majority of 2,54,735 votes in 2014. Considering that it would be Dattatreya's last term, the party had made him a Union Minister. He was given the portfolio of Union Minister of State (Independent Charge), Labour and Employment. However, before he could complete his full term, he was removed as the minister in September 2017.
Though the party had asked him to retire from active politics, the recent debacle in the assembly elections where the BJP managed to win only a single seat, has kept Dattaterya's hopes alive. The BJP selection committee is in a quandary whether to give Dattatreya yet another chance, owing to his mass appeal in the Secunderabad constituency. Moreover, Kishan Reddy, is an outsider in the constituency.
Another reason why Reddy’s candidature has been questioned is due to his recent loss in the 2018 Assembly elections. Reddy was defeated from the Amberpet constituency by debutant Kaleru Venkatesh. Reddy lost the election with a small margin of 1,016 votes.