Prof K Nageshwar: Political Pointers From Somu Veerraju As AP BJP Chief


The foot soldiers of YSR Congress were seen celebrating the replacement of Kanna Lakshminarayana by Somu Veerraju as Andhra Pradesh state BJP chief.

The YS Jagan owned Sakshi TV in its coverage of this political development revealed how the YSR Congress party is jubilant over change of guard in Andhra Pradesh BJP.

Thus, the YSRCP more than the BJP has responded to the change. This clearly sends the political signals from this political development and it cannot go unnoticed. There is a fundamental difference between Kanna Lakshminarayana and Somu Veerraju.

The former was a seasoned congress man and a minister in YS Rajasekhara Reddy cabinet. A strong TDP opponent given the local political equations, Kanna was almost ready to join YSR Congress party and become its candidate from Pedakurapadu assembly segment in 2019 polls. However, Kanna landed in BJP to later become its state president. On the contrary, Somu Veerraju, rose from the ranks of sangh parivar.

To be fair, the BJP has not discriminated between party loyalists and new entrants. The Assam, where defectors from AGP and congress today hold the highest positions in BJP led government including the chief minister. Therefore what matters for the BJP is deliverables. Kanna Lakshminarayana led BJP miserably failed to show any impact in the last elections, though he cannot be individually faulted for that.

The lack of result , perhaps prompted the BJP national leadership to prefer an ideological loyalist. In Telangana too, veteran from other parties who defected to saffron brigade like DK Aruna, were hoping for prime positions in the party. But, the BJP chose to go with sangh hardliner. Therefore, the change in two telugu states reflect BJP’s desire to fight with its core ideology.

Yet there is another political dimension to the change in the state BJP leadership. Kanna Lakshminarayana was vehemently critical of YS Jaganmohan Reddy government.

The YCP leader Vijayasai Reddy has even accused him of hobnobbing with TDP supremo N Chandrababu Naidu. On the contrary, Somu Veerraju was an ardent critique of Chandrababu Naidu even when his party was sailing with TDP. Thus, Veerraju is believed to be soft towards YS Jagan.

The political observers therefore view this change as an indicator of BJP’s upcoming strategy. The party wants to replace TDP from opposition before fighting for dislodging Jagan government.

Somu Veerraju was in fact instrumental in bringing Pawan Kalyan into NDA fold in the runupto 2014 elections. Both Kanna and Veerraju belong to kapu community which clearly reveals saffron social engineering.

By — Prof K Nageshwar

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