Reddy replaces Bandi Sanjay Kumar, who had antagonised a section of party leaders with his approach.
After weeks of infighting and speculation regarding a leadership change in the BJP in Telangana, the party on July 4 appointed G. Kishan Reddy as the new State chief. The reshuffle comes ahead of the Assembly election in the State later this year.
Kishan Reddy replaces Bandi Sanjay Kumar, who served as Telangana’s party president for over three years. Bandi Sanjay’s removal was imminent, given a section of dissenting BJP leaders’ dissatisfaction with his approach and feeling “sidelined” within the party. Kishan Reddy is now responsible for pulling together the fractured BJP Telangana unit.
Kishan Reddy currently holds the portfolio of Union Minister for Tourism, Culture, and Development of the North-Eastern Region. He previously served as the party president for four years in undivided Andhra Pradesh and two years in Telangana after the State’s formation.
The BJP has also given new responsibility to Eatala Rajender, its Huzurabad MLA and one of the leaders who reportedly gave the central command an ultimatum regarding the leadership crisis. He will now head the Telangana BJP’s Election Management Committee. The appointment is bound to reduce the discontent, at least within Rajender’s camp. Previously, he led a “joining committee” for the BJP without much success.
Rajender told mediapersons that he was committed to working as a karyakarta and that he understood the problems of the people of Telangana and Chief Minister K. Chandrashekar Rao’s strengths and weaknesses.
The Andhra Pradesh BJP leadership has also undergone a change. Daggubati Purandeswari is the new State party president, replacing Somu Veerraju, who was criticised for his inability to keep the party together. Purandeswari is the daughter of former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister and TDP founder N.T. Rama Rao. She was a Congress loyalist until Telangana was formed in 2014, after which she joined the BJP.