It is more clear that BJP’s ‘Mission South’ will not materialise without any political support in Telugu states. In Telangana, BJP has to fight single handedly and in Andhra Pradesh, it has to align with Janasena or TDP, but according to reports, the both parties are now maintaining distance with BJP due to several ideological and political differences.

Now, it appears that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), with a view to achieving a hat-trick at the Centre in the 2024 General Election, is keen on garnering support from other political parties irrespective of its differences with them.

The party is making all-out efforts to register its victory in the youngest state of India on the strength of its ideological base in the Telangana region of the combined state of Andhra Pradesh. It is struggling to project itself as an alternative in Telangana State.  Hindutva has remained at the core of its ideology since its inception. 

Even during the days of its ideological precursor, Bharatiya Jana Sangh (BJS), the party registered its presence in the Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly (APLA) half a century ago. It had its ‘rebirth’ as Bharatiya Janata Party on 6 April, 1980, following the collapse of the ‘Janata experiment’ at the Centre.

It may be mentioned here that several opposition parties at the national level had come forward for merger on the advice of legendary leader Loknayak Jayprakash Narayan, popularly known as ‘JP’, and coalesced into Janata Party with the noble cause of defeating the Congress party post Emergency. After the failure of the Janata  experiment, then BJS leaders restored their political organisation with the name of Bharatiya Janata Party under the stewardship of Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

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BJP benefited out of its alliances in combined AP. In the 1984 Lok Sabha elections, the BJP registered a stunning victory by defeating Congress’ stalwart PV Narasimha Rao in the Hanamakonda constituency. This was possible for BJP following its alliance with TDP. But PV emerged victorious in another seat, Ram Tek of Maharashtra, in the same elections with a thumping majority and continued in Rajiv’s cabinet after the elections. BJP won only two seats, including Hanamakonda, across the country in those elections. In the 1999 elections, again thanks to its alliance with TDP, it bagged 12 Assembly and 7 Lok Sabha seats.

Ideologically TDP is opponent of BJP. But political compulsions saw them go together occasionally. BJP had fought against TDP in the February 1998 mid-term polls for the Lok Sabha. TDP supremo N. Chandrababu Naidu had then made scathing attack on BJP in electioneering, calling it “a party that demolishes mosques”.

Whenever BJP fought elections without having an alliance, it performed badly-it won only one LS seat in 1991 and 4 seats in 1998. Subsequently, the BJP’s state unit headed by Ch. Vidyasagar Rao adopted a resolution asking the high command to permit it to go alone in the next elections of 1999. But then prime minister Vajpayee himself talked to Vidyasagar and turned down this proposal.

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At present, BJP is on aggressive mode in Telangana State. The Telangana Rastra Samiti (TRS) is fuming at BJP with an eye on the anti-BJP vote bank, particularly religious minorities. TRS supremo and Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao has indicated his mission to launch a new national party. He has projected himself as a national leader by issuing highly expensive advertisements in news dailies across the country and has chosen to meet leaders of political parties in several states. Unlike other leaders from south, KCR is well acquainted with English, Hindi and Urdu languages that would help him better connect with people.

As things stand, foes may become friends in the post-poll scenario, going by the ‘1998’ example. In the 2009 elections, TRS was part of the Grand Alliance headed by TDP in combined AP. But immediately after the polls, KCR attended a meeting of NDA constituents held in Haryana.This was considered by alliance partners as crossing the line of commitment, but he did swerve a bit!

So, though KCR is presently aggressive towards BJP, the eventual post-poll scenario may drive him into its arms. During his first stint as Chief Minister of Telangana, KCR appeared to have tilted towards BJP believably to make his daughter as a member in Union Council of Ministers headed by Narendra Modi.

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As for the upcoming Presidential polls, KCR’s strategy continues to be unclear. He seems to be not preparing to go against the eventual NDA candidate. The leader who is aspiring to become ‘Desh ka neta’ is presently struggling to spell out his stance on Prez polls. The situation of TRS may come in handy for BJP to meet its immediate needs i. e. Presidential polls. Once a deal is struck between the two parties, it may continue to influence further developments.

The ruling parties in Telugu states appear set to bat for the BJP in the Presidential polls by keeping distance from parties that are jointly trying to field an Opposition candidate.

According to the present situation, the BJP may not be in a position to get to the halfway mark (272 seats) in the Lok Sabha. In such a situation, it will be in dire need of the support of other parties. In these circumstances, it may treasure the ruling parties of the Telugu states as long as they keep distance from the opponents of BJP. #KhabarLive #hydnews #hyderabadnews

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A senior journalist having 25 years of experience in national and international publications and media houses across the globe in various positions. A multi-lingual personality with desk multi-tasking skills. He belongs to Hyderabad in India. Ahssanuddin's work is driven by his desire to create clarity, connection, and a shared sense of purpose through the power of the written word. His background as an writer informs his approach to writing. Years of analyzing text and building news means that adapting to a reporting voice, tone, and unique needs comes as second nature.