Tuesday, 28 June, 2022
HomeOpinionBJP’s Odisha, Andhra & Telangana hopes high as all 3 CMs ready...

BJP’s Odisha, Andhra & Telangana hopes high as all 3 CMs ready to sleep with the enemy

Naveen Patnaik, Jagan Mohan Reddy, and KCR are feeling BJP’s heat but they must indulge the Centre for funds - and keep some parrots in cage.

Text Size:

There are three chief ministers currently who must be living in denial — Odisha’s Naveen Patnaik, Andhra Pradesh’s Jagan Mohan Reddy, and Telangana’s K. Chandrashekar Rao. They can’t acknowledge their inevitable nemesis, the BJP.

In their show of loyalty to the BJP-led government at the Centre, these three can outmatch many NDA chief ministers such as Bihar’s Nitish Kumar or Meghalaya’s Conrad Sangma. Only last week, they were instrumental in the passage of the Right to Information (Amendment) Bill in the Rajya Sabha — arguably the first time the NDA could steamroll such a highly controversial and contentious legislation in the Upper House of Parliament.

Yet, the writing on the wall is clear. Congress’ Kamal Nath, TMC’s Mamata Banerjee, and CPI(M)’s Pinarayi Vijayan may be getting saffron nightmares, but the trio of Patnaik, Reddy, and KCR have no less reason to worry. 

BJP eyes three states 

The BJP is keenly watching Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana as it draws up its expansion plan. A day before Jagan’s YSR Congress Party voted for the RTI (Amendment) Bill in the Rajya Sabha, BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav was in East Godavari district, castigating the YSRCP and declaring the BJP as the “future” of Andhra.

Also read: Modi and Shah have been challenged for the first time — by Yediyurappa, of all people

With the Congress votebank subsumed by the YSRCP, the BJP is looking to dislodge the TDP as the principal opposition party. AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi has long predicted the expansion of the BJP in Telangana. And Odisha was there for the BJP to take in 2019 Lok Sabha elections, if it wasn’t for Patnaik’s dexterous moves and BJP pointsman Dharmendra Pradhan’s mishandling of the state unit and questionable candidate selection.

Though the BJP drew a blank in Andhra in the Lok Sabha election, it won 4 of the 17 seats (as against the Congress’ 3) in Telangana and 8 of the 21 in Odisha. These states, with 63 Lok Sabha seats, offer the best opportunities — along with West Bengal— for the BJP’s expansion. In all these states, the Congress has ceded its space (and traditional vote bank) to regional parties. The political vacuum is waiting to be filled by the BJP that is already in power in 16 states.

Odisha roadmap clear

If the BJP insiders are to be believed, the BJP already has a plan in place for Odisha even though the BJD has resumed singing paeans of Narendra Modi.

Patnaik recently gifted away a Rajya Sabha seat to the BJP by supporting ex-IAS officer Ashiwini Vaishnav’s candidature. Vaishnav had approached the BJP seeking a Rajya Sabha berth with the assurance of the BJD’s support. The ex-bureaucrat enjoys a good rapport with V.K. Pandian, private secretary to the chief minister, who is de facto No 2.

Also read: Lack of clarity in party leadership is hurting Congress, says Shashi Tharoor

Yet, say BJP insiders, the party high command has a clear roadmap for Odisha. They claim that the BJP had gone slow in the state from July-August 2018 following “feelers” from Patnaik about a pre-poll alliance. Though going strong in the state, the BJP was ready to grab any chance to ensure its return for a second term in Delhi. So, it waited for six months for Patnaik to take things further, but in vain. It was only after his writer sister, Gita Mehta, declined the Padma Shri award in January that a bitter BJP swung into action again.

The BJP is now keenly and curiously watching developments in Odisha where an ailing chief minister has left the government and the party to be run by his private secretary Pandian, who has got an able ally in officer on special duty (OSD) Dhirendra Sambhaji Kutey, an IPS officer. BJD legislators and other leaders are uncared-for and fidgety.

High Andhra, Telangana hopes

Ram Madhav has good reasons to project the BJP as Andhra Pradesh’s future even though it sounds a tad ambitious for a party that drew a blank in the state in the Lok Sabha elections. There is no Congress worth the name in the state and the Telugu Desam Party is staring at an existential crisis. 

Also read: Deve Gowda’s desperate family-first politics make even Pawar, KCR, Naidu clans look better

In Telangana, the Congress remains the principal opposition party but the BJP’s vote bank has seen a three-fold rise from assembly election last December to the Lok Sabha election — from 7 per cent to 20 per cent. The BJP has already declared that party president Amit Shah will tour Telangana every month as part of its ‘Mission 2023’.

Naveen Patnaik, Jagan Reddy and KCR must be feeling the BJP breathing down their necks. But can they stop sleeping with the enemy? Very unlikely. Splurging money on populist schemes and programmes, they must indulge the Centre for funds’ transfer, be it in the form of tax devolution or grants in aid or special assistance. Equally importantly, no one wants the parrots to be released from the cage by their masters in Delhi.

Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Why news media is in crisis & How you can fix it

India needs free, fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism even more as it faces multiple crises.

But the news media is in a crisis of its own. There have been brutal layoffs and pay-cuts. The best of journalism is shrinking, yielding to crude prime-time spectacle.

ThePrint has the finest young reporters, columnists and editors working for it. Sustaining journalism of this quality needs smart and thinking people like you to pay for it. Whether you live in India or overseas, you can do it here.

Support Our Journalism


  1. BJP is essentially a west Coast Brahmin base party dominating the Hindi-belt. Modi ji and Amit Shah are the non-brahmin lieutenants.
    The non-BJP led fringe parties will retain their power in their respective states for a long time to come. All these parties are more or less secular.
    There is a dire need for a party to emerge at the central level to keep BJP in check. Congress is unable to do this.

  2. Wov. If these CM support BJP, it means they are sleeping with enemy. If they support opposition, they are secular. Very good logic indeed.

  3. “AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi has long predicted “

    Genius Owaisi knew his speeches are leading to increasing popularity of BJP.

  4. So BJP must capture all four states of Orissa, WB, TN and AP in the next state elections. But then it should show some good development work with no corruption.

  5. I always had the greatest respect for CM Naveen Patnaik. So it comes as a shock to learn that he is ailing and that his private secretary is effectively running the state as no. 2. Not very different from Jayalalithaa in Tamil Nadu. This is not how the Constitution envisages states to be administered. How much inner party democracy there should be, whether an effective second rung of leadership should be allowed to emerge, obviously a lot depends on the principal actor. However, no one is immortal. The people of the state are entitled to see a clear succession plan, no awful vacuum where no one knows who is in charge.

  6. The only leader that had a vision was CBN and people of AP were naive to choose Jagan thinking that CBN is benefitting the Kammas. Jagan will turn AP into a mafia land of the 80s. Please don’t invest in AP now. Your money will go to Jagan and is gang of rowdy MLAs. I know some of them very personally. No good at all.

    CBN even if he makes money would have developed the state, Jagan will not let it happen, if people become educated and get jobs they will not vote for Jagan.

Comments are closed.

Most Popular