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Amit Shah to Tour Telangana, Andhra for BJP Expansion Drive

Intensifying BJP's expansion drive in southern India, party president Amit Shah will be touring Telangana and Andhra Pradesh next week.

Sakshi Khanna | CNN-News18

Updated:May 19, 2017, 5:20 PM IST
Amit Shah to Tour Telangana, Andhra for BJP Expansion Drive
File photo of BJP president Amit Shah. (File photo)

Hyderabad: Intensifying BJP's expansion drive in southern India, party president Amit Shah will be touring Telangana and Andhra Pradesh next week.

With an eye on the 2019 Assembly elections, Shah will camp in Telangana for three days from May 22 to 24. He will visit Andhra Pradesh on May 25, where the party is in alliance with the ruling Telugu Desam Party (TDP).

Telangana state unit of the BJP, which is hoping for political revival and emerge as an alternative to TRS in the state, is leaving no stone unturned to make this visit a success.

During his three-day stay in Telangana, Shah will be interacting with booth-level workers in Nalgonda district. He will also meet voters and take part in a door-to-door campaign. He is scheduled to have lunch at home of oppressed classes.

As part of "Mission South", Shah will also hold a brainstorming session with party leaders and prepare a road map for the upcoming state elections. He will kick-off a 15-day "Vistarak" programme scheduled from May 29, where BJP workers will reach out to 35,000 booth committees.

Hundreds of bikes with UP registration have already arrived for campaigning, many more will reach in the coming days. The bikes were used during Uttar Pradesh election campaign. Party workers said the two-wheelers were "lucky" for the BJP and hoped they would drive the party to victory in Telangana as well.

But it’s not just the bikes, big faces from Uttar Pradesh will come to Telangana for campaigning.

Speaking to CNN-News18, BJP spokesperson Krishna Sagar Rao said, "The national party considers Telangana as a stepping stone for entry into the south. After bifurcation, there is a political void created with the Congress completely depleted. The BJP is the only alternative. We want to win Telangana."

"Development is the agenda which we pitch in every election. However, TRS government has made things easy with its misgovernance. We are not overconfident but people are unhappy and they want good and inclusive development which BJP promises," Rao added.

BJP is also determined to win the Hyderabad Lok Sabha seat. Since 1984, AIMIM has been winning the seat. AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi, who is the current Member of Parliament from Hyderabad, has strong support among locals.

Pitching the agenda of inclusive development and equal rights to every individual, the BJP hopes to breach the AIMIM stronghold. "Amit Shah is master strategist. He likes to challenge the unchallenged. Hyderabad Lok Sabha seat has not been within reach of any party for 40 years. We want to break the pattern. MP Asaduddin Owaisi has failed in delivering good governance in his constituency. It has become more backward. It will be a symbolic victory,” Rao said.

Meanwhile, in an attempt to regain its lost ground, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi is also scheduled to visit Telangana on June 1st, just ahead of it third formation day on June 2nd.

The Telangana Pradesh Congress Committee has planned a massive public meeting "Telangana Praja Garjana" at Sangareddy district where Rahul will release a "chargesheet" against failures of TRS government in the last three years. The Congress will highlight issues of farmer suicides, unemployment, among other issues.

Targeting both state and central governments, TPCC chief Uttam Kumar Reddy said, "It is a known fact TRS is acting as a secret ally of BJP. Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao has completely failed to get any assistance from Centre for Telangana and has failed miserably in resolving the problems being faced by the people."

As the Opposition is gearing up for a battle with aggressive campaigning, ruling TRS seems to have a different view. KCR’s son and Telangana IT minister KT Rama Rao tweeted, "Elections are routine part of public life. Excessive focus on them and making them a life and death battle is what's wrong with our system."

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| Edited by: Ashish Yechury
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