'Newcomers' need to work with seniors to achieve BJP’s goals, says Bandi Sanjay Kumar
Karimnagar (T'gana), Nov 23 (PTI) Hindutva firebrand leader and former BJP state chief Bandi Sanjay Kumar on Thursday urged the 'newcomers' in the party to work together with veterans and seniors to achieve the saffron party's common goals.
Kumar, who was recently replaced by Union Minister G Kishan Reddy as Telangana BJP president, without naming anyone, called for the newcomers to sort out differences, if any, through dialogue.
The BJP national general secretary, who is a sitting MP, is contesting from the Karimnagar assembly segment for the third time. He downplayed his removal as a state unit president, saying that the party is not driven by an individual but by ideology.
Kumar also exuded confidence that the BJP will get a majority of seats in the 119-member Telangana assembly in the November 30 polls and the party will form the government this time.
'Newcomers may face some difficulty getting along well with senior leaders in the party. Still, we have to work together. If we have joined the party to achieve a common target, then we have to bear some difficulty. Both seniors and newcomers should work in unity,' the BJP leader told PTI in an interview.
'The newcomers should sort out differences, if any, through dialogue,' he said and asserted that the BJP believes and functions with coordination.
On prospects of the BJP winning in the coming assembly polls, Kumar said the party has gained ground in the state after winning byelections in Dubbaka and Huzurabad as well as Greater Hyderabad and Teacher's MLC poll despite some sections of the media supporting the BRS and Congress sending 'conflicting' signals to the masses.
With the election campaign at its peak, he said both senior party leaders and newcomers are committed and working hard to defeat Bharat Rashtra Samiti (BRS), and even people are in favour of the BJP.
Asked after losing the Karnataka elections, whether the party would manage to get more seats than Congress in Telangana, Kumar said, 'Definitely, we will get a majority. The poor have faith in the BJP.' People of Telangana will not give a chance to the Congress which has won in Karnataka by allegedly cheating them on a false promise of five guarantees. On the other hand, the BRS has turned Telangana into a debt-ridden state, he said.
Asked where the saffron party got this confidence, as no survey has projected a chance for BJP to win, the Hindutva firebrand leader said the same surveys in the past had said the party would not win in Huzurabad, Dubbaka and other elections. 'But BJP won in them. The surveys will change. The saffron party will form the government,' he said.
In the 2018 assembly polls, the BJP had won only one seat out of 117 seats it contested with a vote share of 7.13 per cent. Whereas BRS (then TRS) had won 88 seats, while Congress got 19. Later, 12 Congress MLAs defected to the BRS.
On whether replacement of the state party's chief will hurt BJP's prospects in the election, Kumar said, 'The party is not driven by individual leaders but by ideology. Whether I am there as state party president or not, the current party state president, Kishan Reddy, is working hard and performing very well.' Kishan Reddy was not fielded in the assembly poll because he, being a state party president, has many engagements. Otherwise, MPs and ministers are contesting in other election-bound states as well, he said.
'The party has decided to field MPs and ministers in the assembly election. As per that decision, I am contesting from Karimnagar,' he added.
Kishan Reddy was appointed as the state BJP president just four months before the assembly polls in Telangana. The party also appointed Huzurabad MLA Eatala Rajender as the election management committee chief.
Rebutting reports that the BJP is 'B' team of BRS, Kumar said, 'Both the BRS and Congress are 'maligning' the party. In fact, the BRS and Congress are one team. People are aware of it.' The two parties (BRS and Congress) worked together during the President of India Draupadi Murmu's elections and have seen them protesting in Parliament too, he said, and alleged that the BRS has also funded some Congress candidates so that it can buy them later if elected.
'Why are we fighting against the BRS and going to jail? Why are there 74 cases against me? Did Congress people go to jail? Are there any cases against Congress leaders? Revanth Reddy or Uttam Kumar Reddy did not go to jail. Since we are fighting and going to jail, it is not us but Congress is the 'B' team of BRS,' he added.
On reports that the BJP is supporting the BRS in some seats to ensure defeat for Congress, Kumar said both the BRS and Congress are fighting against the BJP. 'People are not supporting Congress because they are thinking that the grand old party leaders may switch over if they get elected. They will not get votes and may lose their deposit.' Asked why the Central government has not taken action against BRS leader and Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao's daughter K Kavitha in the Delhi liquor scam case, he said, 'The ED and other agencies are not organisations of BJP. They will take action based on the evidence. That issue is not concerning us and we need not respond.' However, under a development-oriented BJP government at the Centre, no one can escape if any wrong is done, he noted.
On the chances of winning the Karimnagar assembly seat this time, the BJP leader said that as a MP he has worked a lot in Karimnagar Lok Sabha constituency and strengthened the BJP in the state as ex-party president.
'I am fighting for the welfare of all sections of the people and have gone to jail several times. If people are concerned about the development of Karimnagar, it is important for them to elect a BJP candidate. I am confident they will vote this time,' he said.
Asked about polarisation politics gaining momentum, Kumar said the Congress and AIMIM are only concerned about 12 per cent of Muslims vote and therefore seen offering namaz with them to woo their votes.
'They are not concerned about 80 per cent of Hindu voters. People are thinking why should they vote for them,' he said, and added that he has completed 70 per cent of campaigning in his constituency.
The party workers are working hard in the constituency and preparing for Prime Minister Narendra Modi's scheduled rally to be held on November 27, he said.
When asked if he is in the race for the chief minister post as the party has announced it will make one from the backward community if it wins in the assembly polls, Kumar said, 'The BJP works systematically with ideology. Such decisions are taken by the central leadership after consultation with the elected MLAs. I will abide by the party's decision.' Kumar had lost in the last two assembly polls against BRS candidate and incumbent BC Welfare and Food Minister Gangula Kamalakar. PTI LUX GDK KH
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